White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stormed out of Thursday’s press briefing after a reporter repeatedly demanded that he be given a chance to ask a question.
Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba confronted Jean-Pierre during the briefing saying that she ignores him and does not answer his questions.
Ateba was persistent and refused to let her call on another reporter until she answered his question about the upcoming U.S.-Africa Summit, where President Joe Biden is expected to meet leaders from dozens of African countries.
“Karine, why is it so hard to take a question on the U.S.-Africa Summit, when the President is meeting 50 African leaders — the biggest gathering of leaders of his administration?” he asked. “Why is it hard for you to give me a question?”
Jean-Pierre claimed that it was not “hard” for her to give him a question, to which he responded that “it’s been months” since she had supposedly answered one of his questions.
The two went back and forth for several moments before Jean-Pierre packed up her binder and stormed out of the room. She had claimed that she would give a question to a colleague of Ateba, but he remained persistent.
“Okay. Thanks, everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said as she left the room.
Karine Jean-Pierre just stormed out of the briefing room after losing her patience with a reporter. pic.twitter.com/OXU16xhNQZ
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 8, 2022
Ateba later told the Daily Caller that Jean-Pierre should be “ashamed” of herself for the interaction.
“Karine Jean-Pierre should be ashamed of herself,” he said. “How bad can discrimination get? Even when President Biden is hosting 50 African leaders, she cannot give a question to the African reporter in the room. Shameful.”
The two have previously clashed during press briefings, including during Dr. Anthony Fauci’s final meeting with reporters at the White House in November. Ateba accused Jean-Pierre of not taking a question from a Daily Caller reporter.
“If you’re going to hold a press briefing, you need to call on people across the room,” he said. “She has a valid question. She’s asking about the origin of COVID … Fauci’s the best person to answer this question.”
Jean-Pierre replied by saying she was “done” with Ateba.
“I hear the question, but we’re not doing this the way you want it,” she said. “This is disrespectful. Simon, I’m done. I’m done with you right now. You’re taking time away from your colleagues.”
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