White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that he was “merely repeating” Planned Parenthood’s statements in his defense of the organization and was basing his conclusion that the videos of the organization released by the Center for American Progress were “selectively edited” and “fraudulent” “on the public comments of Planned Parenthood” at Thursday’s White House Press Briefing.
Earlier in the press briefing, Earnest maintained that the videos of Planned Parenthood officials were “selectively edited.” He was asked a few minutes later if the White House had contacted Planned Parenthood “about standardizing procedures for fetal tissue research,” has concerns about illegalities within that realm, or has launched an investigation or is considering one. He answered, “Not that I’m aware of. And again, I think Planned Parenthood has been quite specific about the policies and procedures that they have in place, and I know that they have described those policy and procedures as the — as living up to the highest ethical standard. But for what those standards are, I’d refer you to Planned Parenthood. And as I mentioned, based on the essentially fraudulent way in which these videos have been released, there’s not a lot of evidence right now that Planned Parenthood hasn’t lived up to those standards.”
Later on, Earnest was asked whether anyone at the White House had seen the videos that he referred to as “selectively edited,” Earnest said, “I suspect somebody has.” He added, after being asked, the White House’s information that the videos were “edited” and “fraudulent,” is “based on the public comments of Planned Parenthood, who has indicated that the views that are represented in the video are entirely inconsistent with the — that organizations policies and with the high ethical standard that they live up to.”
Earnest was then asked if it was fair to say that the White House was simply taking its talking points from Planned Parenthood, he stated that he would refer any questions about Planned Parenthood’s policies to them, and that he was “merely repeating” what he’s seen Planned Parenthood say.
Earnest continued, “But, I’m certainly not the only person to arrive at this conclusion. There are a number of others, who have taken a look at those videos, and raised significant doubts about their authenticity, based on the way that they were edited. And they certainly aren’t consistent with the frequently stated policy of Planned Parenthood, and I think that’s why many, many people who’ve taken a look at this situation have arrived at the same conclusion and described the videos the same way that I have.”
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