A testy exchange occurred toward the end of Monday's daily White House briefing after a reporter challenged press secretary Josh Earnest for criticizing a report that cited anonymous sources.
"The lead of that story is pinned — it's hooked entirely to anonymous sources," Earnest said, referencing a Washington Post report which contended aides wanted President Barack Obama nearly a year before the border crisis. "That's just a fact."
McClatchy White House reporter Anita Kumar refused to remain silent, reminding the press secretary that the White House routinely provides journalists with anonymous sources.
“You criticize anonymous sources, but we have anonymous sources from you all every day," she said. "In fact, I think we have a call today. I mean, it's just — how can you criticize that when that’s all you give us everyday except for the briefing."
"Except for the fact that I've been standing here for an hour, answering all of your questions," Earnest countered. "Which is an important practice, right?"
The press secretary added that he feels reporters should place more weight on statements made on-the-record versus those made by unidentified individuals.
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