White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a CNN interview aired Sunday that he’s upset over the fact that President Barack Obama doesn’t get enough credit for being the “most transparent” president in United States history.
Earnest made his comments during an interview with CNN host Brian Stelter, who said that many journalists would disagree with Earnest that the Obama White House has been the most transparent in history, noting the complaints of journalists and denied Freedom of Information Act requests.
Earnest responded by saying that the Obama administration has responded to “hundreds of thousands” of FOIA requests, but argued that there is “no constituency in American politics for transparency in government beyond journalists.”
“If this constituency — journalists — are gonna be effective advocates for the issue that they care about, they need to remember that they have a responsibility not just to criticize those who are not living up to their expectations,” he went on to explain.
“Any activist will tell you that the way that you get people to support you and to support your cause is to give them credit when the credit is due, to applaud them when they do the thing that you want them to be doing,” Earnest added.
The press secretary said that journalists not acknowledging Obama’s transparency is one of the reasons he’s had a “beef” with the press during his time in the White House.
But not only that, Earnest alleged that President-elect Donald Trump has no “incentive” to be transparent
“Given the fact that President Obama has been the most transparent president in American history, and given the fact that he has not gotten much, if any, credit for that from journalists, what incentive does Donald Trump, who I think has a predisposition against transparency when you consider the way he handled his tax returns, what argument does anyone have that there is an [incentive] for him to be more transparent?” he said.
Watch the full interview below: