AP Reporter's Brutal Syria Question for State Dep't Spokeswoman
AP Reporter‚Äôs Brutal Syria Question for State Department Spokeswoman
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee does not mince words.
At a Thursday press briefing, Lee struggled to understand why Secretary of State John Kerry keeps referring to President Barack Obama‚Äôs decision to seek congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria as ‚Äúcourageous.‚ÄĚ
And his argument is simple: How is it ‚Äúcourageous‚ÄĚ to seek permission for something he believes he can do anyway?
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt understand why he is so full-throatedly in favor of this,‚ÄĚ Lee said. ‚ÄúHe over the weekend said the president was acting courageously by taking this to Congress, and I don‚Äôt understand what is courageous about asking permission for something that you say you don‚Äôt need and to do what you believe to be the right thing not just morally but in general.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúCan you explain why this is a ‚Äėcourageous‚Äô move, and why the secretary would call it a ‚Äėcourageous‚Äô move?‚ÄĚ he asked.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded with the regular White House talking point about how Secretary Kerry believes military action in Syria should be ‚Äúlimited‚ÄĚ and that securing congressional approval is a step in the right direction.
But Lee wasn‚Äôt satisfied with this response: ‚ÄúWas there some kind of, like, group spine-removal procedure at the White House over the weekend? I don‚Äôt understand. How is this courageous?‚ÄĚ
Psaki responded to his remark by reiterating that the White House believes it can go it alone but wants the backing of Congress:
Lee has become known for his pointed and blunt questions during State Department press briefings.
Further, in April 2013, Lee let State Department Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell know in no uncertain terms that he‚Äôs really not impressed with political jargon and non-answers.