Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell told the State Department press pool not to “read too much into” the fact that the press was cut out of a meeting on Tuesday with Secretary Kerry and the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia. Ventrell said that he had no indication that Secretary Kerry or the Foreign Minister discussed the Saudi national who is considered a person of interest in the Boston bombings on Monday and who also had his apartment searched by multiple government agencies late Monday night. After a few more questions, Matt Lee with the Associated Press slammed Ventrell saying, “I find it hard to believe that you expect us to believe” that the real reason for the change in the agenda with the Saudi Foreign Minister was a simple scheduling conflict.
MATT LEE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Are you really trying to say that this meeting was turned from being a photo op to being closed for scheduling reasons? is that seriously your answer?
PATRICK VENTRELL, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN: Look, Matt, I wouldn’t read into it.
LEE: Because the Secretary is tired after 10 days on the road and going to the Hill tomorrow?
VENTRELL: No, what I’m saying is he has a very tight schedule here in the building and elsewhere so–
LEE: So it saved time somehow by canceling a photo op? It doesn’t wash.
VENTRELL: Matt, it really does underscore the value of our relationship. This is one of the few meetings that he’s been able to schedule and on a very tight schedule.
LEE: But I don’t see how canceling a photo op saves him any time. So, I find it hard to believe that you expect us to believe that that’s the real reason for this. Because I don’t see how canceling a photo op saves him any time.