WH Press Sec Storms Out Of Room Over Reporter

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre walked out of a press briefing when an African journalist insisted she call on him. Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba demanded that Jean-Pierre take a question from him because the White House was hosting an African leader, but she ignored him. He continued to speak, however, insisting that she take a question from an African reporter, but instead, Jean-Pierre closed the event and left the room, saying, “Thanks, everybody.”

Mr. Ateba took to Twitter afterward and wrote it was a shame that Jean-Pierre ended the press briefing abruptly. Then he accused her of discrimination, noting that press colleagues remained silent while he endured discriminatory treatment. “May God help me,” he wrote, winning widespread support on social media from commenters who suggested he makes Ms. Jean-Pierre nervous by asking uncomfortable questions.

Back in March, Jean-Pierre went even further and had Mr. Ateba removed from the room. He made an enemy of other journalists at the time who accused him of hogging the briefing, with one saying, “The rest of us are here too, pal.” After some minutes of argument between reporters, Jean-Pierre asked that Abeta be removed. The African reporter again accused the press secretary of discrimination and said she was making a mockery of the First Amendment. “This isn’t Russia or China; this is the United States,” he declared.

Reporters have accused the press secretary of ignoring them numerous times, including Steven Nelson of the New York Post, who has called her out on it and was scorned. In October, Nelson, ignored by Jean-Pierre, said, “You haven’t called on me in two seasons, Karine,” and she replied, “And I’m not calling on you today,” before moving on to another journalist.

Mr. Nelson also complained on Twitter and said the New York Post is one of America’s most prominent publications and the secretary should be “ashamed” for showing contempt to a free and independent press.