“Fox & Friends” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck sparred with White House press secretary Josh Earnest over statements President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have made in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks.
Hasselbeck told Earnest that “words matter,” referring to when Obama called the attacks a “a terrible and sickening setback” and Kerry said the attacks had a more understandable “rationale” than the Charlie Hebdo attack. (RELATED: After Paris, Obama And Merkel Bury Their Heads In The Sand)
Hasselbeck: Josh, let me ask you this. Following this initial attack in Paris where 129 people were brutally killed, the president of the United States referred to this as something that was a ‘setback.’ Secretary John Kerry, then, in trying to draw a line of comparison between the Charlie Hebdo attacks and these recent Paris attacks said that those attacks at Charlie Hebdo were quote ‘understandable.’ Do you understand at this point out the verbiage needs to change a bit? Because everyone in this world sees them as aloof, apathetic and quite cavalier about these lives being lost at the hand of ISIS. Would you go back and ask for that language to be changed at this point, to reflect some sort of solidarity and intentional aggression against ISIS? I mean, to call this understandable as it relates to Charlie Hebdo, to call this a ‘setback’ seems awful, at least to the American people. (RELATED: John Kerry: Hebdo Attacks Make Way More Sense Than Paris Attacks)
Josh Earnest: Well, Elisabeth, I think what I’d need to ask the American people to do is to go look at the transcript of the president’s remarks where he described the situation as ‘sickening,’ where he expressed his profound sorrow of what exactly had occurred. And I think what I would encourage you to do is to spend just as much time focusing on the president’s actions as you do this words. Because if you do, I think you would see a president who takes this very seriously.
Hasselbeck: His words matter, Josh. I have to stop you there. Josh, I will stop you there. The president of the United States’ words matter.
Earnest: So, Elisabeth, let me finish my answer. If you want have me on your show Elisabeth —
Hasselbeck: I will focus on my president’s words Josh.
Earnest: Elisabeth, if you want to have me on your show to talk about a serious issue, then give me an opportunity to answer the question.
Hasselbeck: I would love for you to answer it.
Earnest: I will answer it by telling you that you should consider–
Hasselbeck: Go ahead.
Earnest: Elisabeth, if you want to have me on the show to talk about something serious as our national security you can ask me a question, and I will answer it.
Hasselbeck: Josh, we’ve played fair before.
Earnest: When the president —
Hasselbeck: I’m letting you know that our president’s words matter, not just to me, not just to the American people, but to those around the globe who are very concerned right now.
Donald Trump appeared later on the show Wednesday was asked about his impression of the exchange and he said, “That was something. You know, he didn’t do good opposition research on Elisabeth. Because if he would have seen the real Elisabeth. I watched her take apart Rosie O’Donnell and just — I mean Rosie quit. She never came back to the show after Elisabeth did a number. Elisabeth did better than I did. I was always very angry about that. So he did a very poor job of opposition research. No, that’s Elisabeth. she’s great. What can I tell you?”