State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Tuesday had trouble finding examples of successes that the U.S. has had against the Islamic State after two weeks of its enhanced airstrike campaign.
Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee asked Psaki whether there is any disappointment that the Islamic State, or ISIL, has been able to gain some ground in Iraq.
"Is it not at all distressing to the administration that this clear and comprehensive strategy thus far has seen ISIL make gains rather than retreat?" he asked.
"In fact, I would disagree with that, Matt," Psaki said. "There have been, certainly, gains made by Iraqi security forces in Iraq. I can go through some of those for you if that would be useful."
Psaki then started looking for examples in her briefing book, which sets out the range of answers she's allowed to give to reporters each day.
"Let me just tick through these and then we can go to your next question," she said as she flipped pages. "Some of our successes we've seen on the ground by the Iraqi security forces. One moment."
After nearly 15 seconds of looking, Psaki came up empty.
"Does that mean there aren't any?" Lee asked.
"That does not at all mean that, Matt," Psaki said. After a few more minutes, Psaki was able to find two examples.
"Kurdish forces, with the support of Sunni tribes, retook the Iraq-Syria border crossing at Rabia last week, which fell to ISIL in June," she read. "This is of course an encouraging development, as it will make it harder for ISIL to operate across the border."
She also noted reports from last week saying Iraqi security forces worked with Sunni tribes and "pushed back" against the Islamic State in another town, but she couldn't pronounce the name of that town.