Wednesday at the White House press briefing, reporters from ABC, CNN and Fox News grilled press secretary Josh Earnest for continuing to claim Yemen is the Obama administration’s model for counterterrorism.
Their questions come as today’s news that the country is falling further into chaos, including an air base used by American forces for counterterrorism operations was seized by Iranian-backed Houthi fighters and the ousted Yemen president has fled the country.
ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl said the refusal to admit the realities on the ground was “astounding,” while CNN’s Jim Acosta tried unsuccessfully to give Earnest an out, asking if it’s fair to say “right now” it’s not a model for success, which Earnest would not concede.
Fox News Channel’s chief White House correspondent Ed Henry said, “Why can’t you say he was wrong, and we are trying to fix it? We are trying to figure it out. It just seems we are going around and around saying it’s a model when it’s not.”
Earnest would not relent, saying, “We do retain the ability and capacity to apply pressure to the extremists.”
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