Tuesday at the White House press briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest was grilled over President Barack Obama’s meeting today with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, while the president has refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he comes to address Congress.
Earnest was asked, “Do you acknowledge that Qatar has been a significant source of, especially private, donations to ISIS and other terrorist groups?”
Avoiding a direct answer, he countered, “What we acknowledge is there are areas where we disagree with the Qataris, but more often we find that our interests overlap—that our interests with the Qataris are consistent. Whether it’s our work the international communities to try to bring—to ease the international community’s concern about Iran’s nuclear program, to dealing with the situation in Afghanistan, even the ongoing campaign with ISIL. There are a variety of ways in which the Untied States has been able to work with the Qataris to protect and advance our national security interests in the region and around the globe.”
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