White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre left Thursday’s press conference angry after being pressed by an African journalist to explain why he had not been called upon to ask a question.
This confrontation marks the last clash between Jean-Pierre and Simon Ateba of Today News Africa, which in June accused the White House of discrimination for not allowing him to ask questions during briefings.
“Can I ask you more about Angola?” Ateba asked National Security Council spokesman John Kirby after he finished answering another reporter’s question on a different topic.
Kirby previously answered questions related to Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço’s Thursday visit to the White House.
Jean-Pierre, who called on journalists to ask Kirby questions, ignored Ateba and called on another journalist.
“It’s so surprising that you don’t answer – you get an African leader, but you can’t answer a question from an African journalist,” Ateba said after being ignored.
“OK, we can finish this briefing now,” Jean-Pierre said as Ateba protested.
Ateba continued while the journalist contacted by Jean-Pierre tried to ask him her question.
“We can end this briefing if it’s not respectful here,” Jean-Pierre said, taking the podium as a reporter could be heard muttering, “Oh, my God.”
“You receive an African leaderand you don’t answer a question,” Ateba continued before Jean-Pierre interrupted him, resumed his notes and walked away from the podium.
“Thank you everyone,” she said as she walked out, looking angry.
A reporter tried to ask another question as she walked away, but Jean-Pierre interrupted him as well.
“No. Thank you all,” she said.
The White House Ateba threatened earlier this year with the revocation of his press privileges after a virulent clash between him and Jean-Pierre during the June 26 press briefing, during which he criticized him for not allowing him to ask any questions.
“You are incredibly rude. You are incredibly rude,” Jean-Pierre told Ateba at the time. She then threatened to end the press conference if Ateba didn’t get in line and stop interrupting her.
Jean-Pierre’s office addressed Ateba directly in a letter that the journalist shared on social networksreprimanding him for the interruption.