White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre angrily stormed out of Thursday’s press briefing after being pressed by an African reporter on why he wasn’t being called on to ask a question.
The clash marks the latest run-in between Jean-Pierre and Simon Ateba of Today News Africa, who accused the White House in June of discrimination for not allowing him to ask any questions during the briefings.
“Can I ask you a follow-up on Angola?” Ateba asked National Security Council spokesman John Kirby after he finished answering another reporter’s question on a different topic.
Kirby had previously answered questions related to the Thursday visit of Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço to the White House.
Jean-Pierre, who was calling on reporters to ask questions of Kirby, ignored Ateba and called on a different reporter.
“It is so surprising that you don’t take — you are receiving an African leader, but you can’t take a question from an African journalist,” Ateba said after being skipped over.
“OK, we can end this briefing right now,” Jean-Pierre said as Ateba protested.
Ateba continued as the reporter called on by Jean-Pierre attempted to ask her question.
“We can end this briefing if it’s not going to be respectful here,” Jean-Pierre said, stepping to the podium as a reporter could be heard mumbling, “Oh, my God.”
“You are receiving an African leader, and you don’t take a question,” Ateba continued before Jean-Pierre cut him off, picked up her notes and walked away from the podium.
“Thanks, everybody,” she said as she exited, appearing angry.
One reporter attempted to ask another question as she walked away, but Jean-Pierre cut him off as well.
“No. Thanks, everybody,” she said.
The White House threatened Ateba earlier this year with the revocation of his press privileges after a viral heated clash between him and Jean-Pierre during the June 26 press briefing when he criticized her for not allowing him to ask any questions.
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