Tuesday on CSPAN’s “Washington Journal,” investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson said while trying to obtain the official White House photographs of President Barack Obama on the night of the Benghazi terror attacks, after first being told by the photo office that she would get the photos by the end of the day, she was later referred to then-White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, who refused to return her and her producers’ calls and emails.
“If you know how the White House works, a photographer is omnipresent,” Attkisson said. “He would have been there taking photographs in the Situation Room. He would have been taking photographs of the president that night. So we asked for the photos, which in my view, are public information. They are paid for with tax dollars, and they release them when they want them released and they are positive . The photo office indicated initially, this was probably in October or November 2012, that we could have the photos at the end of the day and that never materialized. They suddenly started referring us a White House deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest, who is now press secretary. And they said Josh would have to approve it, and he would never return a call or e-mail. We would try to maintain communication with him or try to make communication with him over a long period of time, and he wouldn’t even answer. We would go to the press, photographer’s office and say you have given us an impossible task, you have told us to talk to someone who will not talk to us. You need to give us another route to follow to try and get these photos, and they would say no, you have to talk to Josh Earnest. So that just went down a dead-end road. I think that is entirely unacceptable. The press offices work for the public. They are publicly paid to be responsive to the press and the public . Those White House photos belong to the public, in my view, to the extent that they would not reveal national secrets. To this day, they remain secret.”
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