White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre grew frustrated after Today News Africa White House Chief Correspondent Simon Ateba confronted her for not allowing reporters to ask White House Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci questions about COVID-19.
Fauci briefly took questions from reporters at the White House press briefing Tuesday, where he appeared to ignore several reporters as they yelled out questions on the origins of COVID-19. Jean-Pierre lashed out at Ateba as he continued asking a question without being called on.
“It is not your turn!” the press secretary said. “It is not your turn!”
“If you’re going to hold a press briefing, you need to call on people across the room,” Ateba said. “She has a valid question. She’s asking about the origin of COVID … Fauci’s the best person to answer this question.”
“I hear the question, but we’re not doing this the way you want it,” Jean-Pierre said. “This is disrespectful. Simon, I’m done. I’m done with you right now. You’re taking time away from your colleagues.”
Reporters, including Daily Caller White House correspondent Diana Glebova, attempted to ask Fauci about the origins of COVID-19 and his role in preventing the virus from spreading. He did not take these questions from reporters despite them continuously yelling it out. (RELATED: ‘Be More Respectful’: Kirby Snaps At White House Reporter As He Derails Briefing)
Ateba has been a notable figure in confronting both Jean-Pierre and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki on not taking questions from the press. He even derailed Psaki’s final briefing before stepping down, leading to an expulsion threat by the White House Correspondents’ Association.
He recently told the Daily Caller that the briefings are “clearly rigged” since a select few reporters appear to be called on in the briefing room.