White House press secretary Josh Earnest and chief of staff Denis McDonough showed up at the White House today with doughnuts for the reporters.
They joked that it was “press appreciation day” as they made the rounds with boxes of Dunkin’ Donuts, but declined a request from Breitbart News to photograph the experience for the record.
“We appreciate what you do,” McDonough told the press, according to CBS reporter Mark Knoller. “You should have brought Ben Rhodes,” a snarky, bearded reporter quipped.
Relationships with the White House and the press have been pretty rough recently, thanks to comments made by the Deputy National Security Adviser, ridiculing reporters in Washington D.C.
“The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,” Rhodes sneered in a New York Times profile. “That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
On Monday, reporters quizzed Earnest about the remarks, challenging the characterization of their experience.
“Look, based on the conversations that I’ve had with Ben over the last couple of days, I assure you that’s not how it was intended,” Earnest said. “And based on that reaction, I’m confident he would say it differently if given the chance.”
He also said that reporters at the White House were not the average age of 27.
“I guess, looking around this room, unfortunately not many of us meet that 27-year-old threshold,” he said as reporters laughed.
“Not just young at heart, but also young in age here,” he added.