An Associated Press reporter angrily walked out of a State Department briefing Tuesday when spokesman John Kirby repeatedly dodged a question related to the deadly terror attacks in Brussels.
Reporter Matt Lee asked Kirby how many Americans had been injured in the attacks that killed at least 34 and wounded scores more. While the State Department said it was searching for a "fair number of missing Americans," a specific number was not given.
“I’m going to avoid giving a specific number,” Kirby said.
“Why can’t you just say the number that you have confirmed and qualify it by saying it’s incomplete and could rise,” Lee fired back in response. “The U.S. military has already spoken about one service member and a family. The Mormon Church has spoken. If the State Department is not able to give even a preliminary, albeit incomplete, count, why?”
Kirby contended it would be irresponsible of him to provide reporters with a specific number because the count continued to fluctuate.
“So is it possible to go down?” Lee asked.
“I don’t know, Matt,” Kirby replied. “And it would be irresponsible for me to give out a number now when the numbers are actually changing literally by the hour.”
Lee, who continued to say he didn't understand why Kirby couldn't provide an answer, finally became fed-up when he asked if the State Department could confirm three Mormon missionaries had gone missing in the area.
“I can’t confirm specific individuals,” Kirby said.
That was the final straw. Lee grabbed his belongings and angrily stormed out of the room.
He later tweeted his frustration.
I refuse to believe @StateDept doesn't have even an incomplete count of #US casualties in #Brussels. Mormon church/military already spoken.— Matt Lee (@Matt Lee)1458672504.0
(H/T: Free Beacon)
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