Josh Earnest, principal deputy White House press secretary, said he was not familiar with the murder of Australian jogger Chris Lane during Wednesday’s White House briefing.
When asked by Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry about the Chris Lane case, Earnest responded, “I’m not familiar with it, actually.”
Henry explained the case in brief to Earnest looking for reaction to the Oklahoma shooting death of Lane at the hands of “bored” African-American teens who thought it would be “fun” to kill somebody.
“This sounds like a pretty tragic case. I wouldn’t want to get ahead of the legal process here and it’s clear that law enforcement officials are involved and are investigating,” Earnest said. “But any act of violence is something that — the president I think himself has spoken pretty eloquently about violence in our communities and he stood at this podium a few weeks ago where he talked about his concern about the impact that violence is having on, in particular, young people in this country.”
Henry pressed Earnest, noting that the President spoke about slain teen Trayvon Martin in the Rose Garden and in the briefing room.
“Why hasn’t [the president] spoken out about this? In this case, you said there was a judicial proceeding. There was one in the Trayvon Martin case. He spoke out extensively on that one,” Henry said.
“There are some people in this room I don’t thing who would agree with you that the president spoke out extensively on it,” Earnest responded.
Henry reiterated his point explaining that the President did speak about the Martin case in response to a question prior to the trial and then spoke about it after the trial in the briefing room.
“He expressed his concerns about the impact of violence on communities across the country and he talked about a number of things that the government can do, but also a number of things that we can do in our communities, whether it’s parents, churches, and communities can do to try to address the impact of violence and whether there is more we can do to try to protect our children,” Earnest said.