Kirby Spars With Reporter Over Israel Conflict


There were some fireworks during a recent White House press conference, except this time it wasn’t, and Karine Jean-Pierre squaring off with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy. It was National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby squaring off with liberal reporter.

Brazil TVGlobo Washington bureau Chief, Raquel Krähenbühl asked Kirby, “So, besides saying that he doesn’t have confidence in these numbers, the President went further to say that innocents will die and that this is the price of the war. You also said that.”

“I have indeed,” Kirby responded.

Krähenbühl then asked if he thought, “this is insensitive? There’s being very harsh criticism in about it. For example, the Council of American-Islamic Relations said it was deeply disturbed and call on the President to apologize. Would the President apologize?”

“No,” Kirby said plainly.

Krähenbühl then asked, “And does he regret saying something like that?”

That’s when Kirby went off.

“What’s harsh — what’s harsh is the way Hamas is using people as human shields. What’s harsh is taking a couple of hundred hostages and leaving families and anxious, waiting and worrying to figure out where their loved ones are. What’s harsh, is dropping in on a music festival and slaughtering a bunch of young people just trying to enjoy an afternoon. I could go on and on. That’s what’s harsh. That is what’s harsh and being honest about the fact that there have been civilian casualties and that there likely will be more is being honest, because that’s what war is. It’s brutal. It’s ugly. It’s messy. I’ve said that before. President also said that yesterday. Doesn’t mean we have to like it. And it doesn’t mean that we’re dismissing anyone of those casualties each and every one is a tragedy in its own right…It would be helpful if Hamas would let [Gazans] leave….We know that there are thousands waiting to leave Gaza writ large and Hamas is preventing them from doing it. That is what is harsh,” Kirby said.