During her tenure as White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre has had an adversarial relationship with a number of reporters for a litany of reasons — but perhaps no relationship is more adversarial than the one with Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba.
The frequent squabbling of the two, however, gave way to a peculiar development on Monday — namely, is the White House now trying to scrub these less-than-flattering exchanges from the internet?
“Are you going to take questions from me?” Ateba asked. “Because you’ve been discriminating against me for the past nine months.”
Another reporter jumped in to defend Jean-Pierre, prompting a wry smile from the press secretary.
Please stop,” the unidentified female reporter told Ateba. “How is she discriminating against you?”
That little exchange set off some rapid-fire unpleasantries, including Jean-Pierre threatening that “if this continues, we’re going to end the press briefing” and ripping into Ateba as “incredibly rude” — only live viewers wouldn’t have seen that exchange, at least according to Fox News
Ateba, sharing the Fox article, blasted Jean-Pierre and the White House in a tweet that slammed the entire debacle as a “fraud.”
“Outrage after the @WhiteHouse removed my interaction with White House @PressSec Karine Jean-Pierre during our press briefing yesterday, Monday,” Ateba tweeted. “What they did was..they pretended that the feed had a problem on YouTube when we were live, then continued broadcasting after our exchange, without that portion of the exchange.
“In doing so, they violated the Public Records Act. They only restored that portion after they were caught and called out, long after the briefing. It was a total fraud.”
Ateba added that the whole thing was “a pity” and reiterated the “fraud” insult.
Fox News noted in its own reporting that the missing portion of the video was restored after the outlet had reached out to the White House for comment.