White House press secretary Josh Earnest harshly criticized former Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway during Thursday’s briefing.
According to the Washington Examiner, Earnest took issue with Conway’s Thursday morning comments, slamming the White House for claiming Trump actively encouraged the Russian government to influence the election. (VIDEO: Kellyanne Opens A Can On Josh Earnest — ‘Incredibly Disappointing’)
“First of all, it’s just a fact — you all have it on tape — that the Republican nominee for president was encouraging Russia to hack his opponent,” Earnest testily stated. “It’s not an argument. I’m not trying to be controversial. It’s a fact.”
“I recognize that the defense from the Trump campaign is that he was joking,” he added. “I don’t think anybody at the White House thinks it’s funny that an adversary of the United States engaged in malicious cyber-activity to destabilize our democracy.”
“That’s not a joke,” Earnest continued. “Nobody at the White House thought it was a joke. Nobody in the intelligence community thought it was a joke. I’m not aware of any members of Congress in either party, that was briefed on this matter multiple times dating back to the summer, thought it was a joke. Senator Rubio put out a statement just before the election indicating he took it seriously, so I think that’s not a particularly persuasive defense being mounted to the President-elect’s team.”