White House press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked by a CNN reporter during Thursday’s press briefing about his former boss Jay Carney’s performance on CNN Wednesday night during a debate on Iraq and Syria with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Carney made his debut on CNN after President Obama’s speech detailing his strategy to defeat the Islamic State terrorists.
Earnest admitted, however, that Carney “was on a different payroll now” and responded to questions about Sen. McCain.
Carney’s performance versus McCain on CNN drew a high volume of Twitter chatter after the senator stubbornly refuted the former press secretary’s nuanced take on President Obama’s speech.
CNN’s Jake Tapper referred to the segment as “The McCain-Carney Showdown,” and The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove described the exchange as “the television equivalent of a mugging in a dark alley.”