White House Press Secretary John Earnest’s last press conference on behalf of the Obama administration took place amidst new tensions with Russia. One reporter unsurprisingly wanted to know the White House’s response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s accusing Obama of trying to undermine President-elect Donald Trump with the controversial dossier published last week.
“Of course it’s not true,” Earnest said, adding that it sounded like Putin “got his copy of the talking points.”
From who exactly, the press corps wondered?
Putin’s words “sound a lot like” those coming from the incoming administration, Earnest surmised.
The Russian leader's rhetoric, he explained, is awfully similar to how Trump has belittled the U.S. intelligence community. The press secretary criticized Trump for questioning the integrity of the intelligence community, especially the outgoing CIA director John Brennan.
Earnest also lamented that this is not the first time Putin has called into the question the veracity of the U.S. government.
President Obama made a brief surprise appearance at the press briefing, yet avoided one reporter's question about Putin's accusation.