White House Press Secretary Jay Carney snapped at another reporter on Monday, this time at ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, who called him out over his interpretation of comments made by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The exchange was sparked by a question from Reuters’ Mark Felsenthal. He asked: “Speaker Boehner said this weekend that there would be no increase in the debt limit without concessions from the President. Can you comment on that?”
“Contradicting a host of times when he himself said we would never default, Republican leaders in the House and Senate have long said that they would never allow us to default. Now we see the leader of the Republican Party on Capitol Hill saying he will not raise the debt ceiling if Republicans do not get what they want,” Carney said.
He went on: “That is highly reckless and irresponsible. It is astounding, really, if you think about it. On October 7, given how little time there is left, that the Speaker of the House is announcing to the world he will not allow a bill to raise the debt ceiling to pass if Republicans do not get their specific demands–”
Carney’s response prompted Karl to interrupt.
“That’s not what he’s saying, Jay, he’s saying it’s negotiable,” Karl said.
“Hey, Jon, I am having a conversation here. I’m sure you’ll represent what the Speaker is saying in a minute,” Carney snapped back.
“Very funny, but that’s not what he said,” Karl repeated, not looking amused.
Carney went on to explain that the White House’s official position is that the debt ceiling is “too important to demand political concessions in return for fulfilling the responsibility by Congress to ensure we pay our debts and do not default.”