White House press secretary Josh Earnest called the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood “fraudulent” as he defended maintaining federal funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“Planned Parenthood has been quite specific about the policy and procedures that they have in place and I know that they have described those procedures as reaching the highest ethical standards,” Earnest told reporters Thursday. “Based on the essentially fraudulent way these videos have been released, there is not a lot of evidence that Planned Parenthood hasn’t lived up to those standards.”
A fourth sting video from an anti-abortion group was released Thursday purporting to show an abortion doctor “negotiating a fetal body parts deal, agreeing multiple times to illicit pricing per body part harvested, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.”
Earnest was dismissive of the videos.
"There is ample reason to think that this is merely the tried and true tactic we’ve seen from extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release an edited version of the video that grossly distorts the positions of the person who is in the video," Earnest said.
Asked later about terming the videos "fraudulent," Earnest said it's based on what Planned Parenthood has said.
Republicans in Congress are seeking to cut off about $500 million in annual federal funding going to Planned Parenthood.
Earnest said again that he does not know if President Barack Obama has seen any of the videos.
"I don’t know if he’s seen any of them," Earnest said. "I do know he’s been following this story."