The White House press office canceled the daily briefing with reporters Tuesday, dodging tough questions after the press office mistakenly revealed the identity of the top CIA official in Afghanistan.
The official was named in a list of participants of a meeting with President Obama during his brief trip to Afghanistan.
After journalists at the Washington Post questioned the White House decision, the press office scrambled to update the list of participants sent to the press pool.
On Tuesday afternoon, the White House surprised reporters by canceling the White House press briefing and instead scheduling a press call on President Obama’s decision to leave 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
That means that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney won’t have to face reporters shortly after his office made a critical error.
News of Obama’s decision on Afghanistan broke early this afternoon as he was attending the White House science fair.
Later in the afternoon, President Obama declined to take questions from reporters gathered in the Rose Garden after he made his statement on Afghanistan.
Reporters at the White House spotted several political columnists exiting the White House prior to Obama’s remarks.
According to the White House, Obama had a private lunch with foreign policy columnists Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, E.J. Dionne, Jeffery Goldberg, Gerald Seib, Fareed Zakaria, Peter Bergen, Susan Glasser, and Peter Beinart.
Obama is scheduled to travel to West Point tomorrow where he will deliver a speech for the West Point Commencement Ceremony.