VIdeo: Shep Smith incredulous as State Department opens briefing … by ignoring Ukraine plane crash

posted at 4:35 pm on July 17, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via the Blaze, it’s appropriate for America’s diplomatic arm to be cautious in assigning blame, but this isn’t caution. It’s avoidance, and it’s inexplicable given that Psaki knows it’s the only topic anyone’s interested in. Whatever she has to say about Afghanistan can wait until tomorrow. What could State possibly be thinking?

One of Ace’s commenters thinks it’s a simple matter of the administration being paralyzed as their problems internationally get bigger. Obama doesn’t know what to do or say about Russian separatists shooting down a passenger jet, so he goes on his burger run and gives a 60-second perfunctory statement. If he’s calm and treats it like no big deal, maybe everyone else will treat it like less of a big deal too. Psaki might be making the same move. If the White House isn’t treating this like a crisis, it’s unfair to expect them to do much about it, right? There’s something to that, but I think you’re also seeing in O’s and Psaki’s responses how invested the White House is in pushing its daily “message” to the media, no matter what else is going on in the world. Psaki’s job today was to spin Afghanistan and, darn it, she was going to spin it, no matter how many bodies are scattered across eastern Ukraine. Obama did the same thing in his Delaware speech earlier this afternoon, segueing easily from the crash to babbling about infrastructure spending. They’re in control of the narrative, not the media — or at least they want to be. In reality, Shep and Jennifer Griffin are laughing at them and going back to covering the crash. Baffling, but this is where we are with two and a half years to go.


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Jen is Krystal Ball’s redheaded step sister.

Nothing between the ears.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Jen is already on the outs with the Ruskies. She’s trying to not make it worse. That’s all that matters.

climbnjump on July 17, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Shep Smith is laughing at you.

Just think about that and go in the corner and cry some.

joekenha on July 17, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Shep’s eyeliner runs more than a ferret on ExLax.
Eventually, EVERYONE will wake up. Even Shemp.

HornetSting on July 17, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Maybe this is what she meant by “the promise of hashtag”.

Bitter Clinger on July 17, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Of some note Hot Air and other meida operatioons.

Not calling out Obama for the thug he in fact is make you part of the problem also.

Note: The Jews too know how to not allow a crisis go to waste.

Obama lets Putin shoot down an Air Liner full of civilians with 23 Americans on board, so they invade Gaza.

What goes around in the nut job Obama world goes around and around and around.

Call him out, use facts, print the items that do call him out do not allow him to have cover via the msm co-thug commie msm.

Stand up.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Surprised she isn’t tweeting a hashtag selfie about the jet

Banshee Leader on July 17, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I believe there were Americans killed in this event. The State Department should probably have a statement to make about it.

DaveDief on July 17, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I’m surprised that Shep is surprised. Wow, Obama has lost the Shep.

DDay on July 17, 2014 at 4:44 PM

If he’s calm and treats it like no big deal, maybe everyone else will treat it like less of a big deal too. Psaki might be making the same move. If the White House isn’t treating this like a crisis, it’s unfair to expect them to do much about it, right? There’s something to that, but I think you’re also seeing in O’s and Psaki’s responses how invested the White House is in pushing its daily “message” to the media, no matter what else is going on in the world.

Seen this play already on a different stage… Benghazi

31giddyup on July 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Shep Smith is laughing at you.

Just think about that and go in the corner and cry some.

joekenha on July 17, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Yeah, that’s pretty bad.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

The US government is now an official clown show.Each area is trying to outdo the other in buffoonery.

docflash on July 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Another area where Shepard Smith has been off the wall is with his constant promotion of the leftist view on climate change. Like two days ago, he even attributed the cold midwest temperatures to global warming. That’s nuts. Come on Fox, replace the guy.

anotherJoe on July 17, 2014 at 4:46 PM

VIdeo: Shep Smith incredulous as State Department opens briefing … by ignoring Ukraine plane crash
===============================

Interesting,..I’ve been camping out,…awaiting State Briefing:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/index.htm

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, July 17, 2014
3m
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says flight that crashed in Ukraine did not make a distress call; airline is notifying next of kin of those on board – live video

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Welcome to the “cardboard cutout presidency,” ladies and gentleman.

This should become a meme, as saddening as it is to see the presidency reduced to such a state.

Aizen on July 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Baghdad Bob School of Journalism graduate.

Baghdad Bob would be proud.

portlandon on July 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Hey c’mon … what’s more important than the loose bear getting a hamburger?

I wonder if he ever gets pork BBQ.

darwin on July 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

That would be JOHN F’ing KERRY’S State Department.

No surprise they’re deaf, dumb and blind. No offense to those folks that are deaf, dumb and blind.

I’m sure they’re working on their YouTube video to try to cover up Obama eating a burger and fries earlier today so Moochelle doesn’t find out.

Meople on July 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Obama and his administration don’t care. They really don’t
Remember just after the Ft Hood shooting? Obama joked around and gave a shout-out to someone in the audience before commenting on the attack. He doesnt give a crap.

Jack_Burton on July 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Welcome to the “cardboard cutout presidency,” ladies and gentleman.

This should become a meme, as saddening as it is to see the presidency reduced to such a state.

Aizen on July 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

A cardboard cutout would be an improvement.

And wouldn’t cost us $1.4 billion a year to feed, clothe, shelter, and transport.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

With Kerry on his yacht and Dear Leader on AF1 going to fundraisers, Valerie has her hands full…Jen can’t speak about this until Val tells her what to say…All I know, it’s not Dear Leader’s fault.

d1carter on July 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Shep Smith is little more than the beta male (is there a ‘charlie’ male?) version of Sandra Fluke; shrill, vapid, and tedious.

Athos on July 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

If he’s calm and treats it like no big deal, maybe everyone else will treat it like less of a big deal too. Psaki might be making the same move. If the White House isn’t treating this like a crisis, it’s unfair to expect them to do much about it, right? There’s something to that, but I think you’re also seeing in O’s and Psaki’s responses how invested the White House is in pushing its daily “message” to the media, no matter what else is going on in the world.

Seen this play already on a different stage… Benghazi

31giddyup on July 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

And after Fort Hood with the “shout out” to Chief Whateverhisnameis.

tru2tx on July 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

“How can we spin this to help Obama? Anyone? No? Ok, we’ll skip it then.”

Something like that, in the backroom.

ncinca on July 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Dear in the headlights.

Surprised she isn’t tweeting a hashtag selfie about the jet

Banshee Leader on July 17, 2014 at 4:44 PM

No, that’s Little Zero’s next Tweet.

formwiz on July 17, 2014 at 4:52 PM

It’s an extension of the Limbaugh Theorem. Act like everything’s fine and the willing lapdogs in the media will go along with the BS narrative. The problem is it’s kinda hard to spin an exploding airliner with 295 people onboard(including 23 Americans) and no big deal.

Doughboy on July 17, 2014 at 4:52 PM

https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 14m

Yo, #UNSC! An “emergency” meeting is usually scheduled with a bit more urgency than, um, tomorrow. #Ukraine

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Come on guys. You know Obama has been busy today and hasn’t had a chance to watch the news.

Tomorrow, they’ll be shocked.

BacaDog on July 17, 2014 at 4:54 PM

It’s an extension of the Limbaugh Theorem. Act like everything’s fine and the willing lapdogs in the media will go along with the BS narrative. The problem is it’s kinda hard to spin an exploding airliner with 295 people onboard(including 23 Americans) and no big deal.

Doughboy on July 17, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Hard to ignore this AND the busses of disease ridden illegals coming to your town soon.

As much as the media can spin to protect him, they can’t conceal the rising of the Sun.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

MeanWhile,………….at the Burger Stand:

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 15s

Pres Obama nominating major Democratic donor & Obama campaign fundraiser Charles C Adams to be US Ambassador to Finland.

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

#donotshootdownairliners

We have the least intelligent and least qualified running our country…..into the ground.

jukin3 on July 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, July 17, 2014
4m
During speech, Vice President Biden says Malaysia plane ‘apparently’ shot down in Ukraine; adds that ‘we don’t’ actually have all the details’ – @NBCNews

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Retweeted by Mark Knoller
Charlie Kaye @CharlieKayeCBS · 1m

BREAKING. @CBSDavidMartin: US intelligence confirms Malaysian plane brought down by missile, not yet determined from where.

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 4:58 PM

so he goes on his burger run

The ‘bear is loose’ is more like a screw is loose.

LetsBfrank on July 17, 2014 at 4:58 PM

#ifweignoreitwillitgoaway

d1carter on July 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Does Lurch have any Ukrainian separatist medals that he can ‘throw over a wall’ in ‘protest’?

Resist We Much on July 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

You know what…? This is looking more and more like a tragedy…..who’s up for the Pit Special?

d1carter on July 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

This is what you get when you employ a bunch of Twitter-brains.

Another Drew on July 17, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Maybe if some black American were on board we might have gotten more out of King Barky the Incompetent.

jukin3 on July 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Baffling, but this is where we are with two and a half years to go.

It’s going to get worse….

d1carter on July 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Today, we are all Malaysian Airlines passengers

BobMbx on July 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

You know, Shep is really pretty. He should try on Jen Psaki’s green Wilma Flintstone necklace.

Unless it’s her collar, then leave it alone.

LetsBfrank on July 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

All she had to say was that facts are still coming in and they’ll respond appropriately if needed. But to not even acknowledge the event is just…

Skywise on July 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

What if one of bin Laden’s 74 children flew a jetliner full of Americans into the Freedom Tower? Would that be a problem, Jen?

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Today, we are all Malaysian Airlines passengers

BobMbx on July 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Huh, that’s pretty much what the last 6 years under the Obama regime has felt like.

Meople on July 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

So if former President Reagan (or even a President Romney) got on TV and accused Russia of shooting down an unarmed civilian plane and killing 23 Americans, Putin would be quaking in his cowboy boots. Instead we’ve got Burger King Putt wondering what he needs to give Russia to get Edward Snowden back.

Could somebody give We the People a Reset button for the 2012 election?

Steve Z on July 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

You know, Shep is really pretty. He should try on Jen Psaki’s green Wilma Flintstone necklace.

Unless it’s her collar, then leave it alone.

LetsBfrank on July 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

You know he wants to.

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

What could State possibly be thinking?

The plane has already crashed. What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?

pain train on July 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Dude, that was like twelve hours ago!

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2014 at 5:08 PM

The ‘bear is loose’ is more like a screw is loose.

LetsBfrank on July 17, 2014 at 4:58 PM

The bear that got loose is the Russian bear, hunting down the Obama weasel.

Steve Z on July 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

********************* BLOWN *******************************!!

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 47s

In Detroit speech, VP Biden says the Malaysian Airliner “apparently had been shot down. Shot down, not an accident, blown out of the sky.”

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:10 PM

#FeeltheTranquility

d1carter on July 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Hey c’mon … what’s more important than the loose bear getting a hamburger?

I wonder if he ever gets pork BBQ.

darwin on July 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Has anyone EVER seen Obama eating pork of ANY KIND? Just throwing that out there.

Meople on July 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Pres Obama nominating major Democratic donor & Obama campaign fundraiser Charles C Adams to be US Ambassador to Finland.

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

So that the Finns can sell us a few more Fisker Karmas?

If Adams writes a sternly-worded letter, maybe the next Karma might actually run when it’s turned on.

Oh, by the way, Finland also shares a border with Russia. Adams might give that some serious thought on his flight to Helsinki.

Steve Z on July 17, 2014 at 5:13 PM

canopfor

Pro-Russian Rebels Admit Downing MH17 in Intercepted Phone Call
by Bryan Preston

Pro-Russian rebels recently obtained Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missiles. These missiles have a vertical range of 72,000 feet, making them more than capable of shooting down a civilian airliner, and also of shooting down most military aircraft.

The rebels have in fact shot down two Ukrainian military aircraft this week, a cargo transport and a fighter jet.

Today, they fired on another aircraft and brought it down. They bragged about it on social media, and warned Ukraine not to fly in that area again….

The rebels called Russia to report what happened. That phone call and a subsequent one between two rebels was intercepted by Ukraine. Kyiv Post has translated both….

If there are no traces of the weapon left, Russia can claim that someone else shot the aircraft down, to create confusion if nothing else.

That’s just what Russia is doing. Russia’s western mouthpiece, Russia Today, reports that Ukraine deployed BUK systems in the region recently, suggesting that Ukraine fired the missile.

Fox reported earlier that the Russians are saying that the missile was a Ukrainian fire aimed at Putin himself. Obviously that would absolve Russia and become a causus belli for Russia to fully invade Ukraine. If it was true, which it isn’t.

INC on July 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

“That’s the State Department, Shep. I’m not surprised.”

Correction

“That’s this State Department, Shep. I’m not surprised.”

Bmore on July 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

VIDEO:

RE: VP GaffeBiden Blown Remarks:

Joe Biden On Airline Crash: “Apparently Shot Down. Not An Accident. Blown Out Of The Sky.”

“Apparently..and I say apparently because we don’t have all the details yet I want to be sure of what I say.” posted on July 17, 2014, at 4:56 p.m.
*****************

http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/joe-biden-on-airline-crash-apparently-shot-down-not-an-accid

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Dutch press conference held, numbers now revised – 283 passengers, 15 crew, for a total of 298.

Aviation Safety Network Twitter feed

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

In fact, MSNBC reported last week that of more than 400 children who fled their homes, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees “found that almost 60 percent of children had legitimate claims to seek asylum in the United States.

MSNBC and the UN: Two organizations that couldn’t organize a Junior High bake sale. And if they did pull it off the kids would never see the proceeds. But hey, Charles Blow knows they’re authoritative voices in his America … which ain’t mine.

M240H on July 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM

INCOMPETENCE is the hallmark of this administration.

GarandFan on July 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM

She’s just providing a side order of lies to go with obozo’s burger.

Flange on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

canopfor

Pro-Russian Rebels Admit Downing MH17 in Intercepted Phone Call
by Bryan Preston

INC on July 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

INC: Thanks, Boinking Boinkers:)

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Psaki’s job today was to spin Afghanistan and, darn it, she was going to spin it, no matter how many bodies are scattered across eastern Ukraine. Obama did the same thing in his Delaware speech earlier this afternoon, segueing easily from the crash to babbling about infrastructure spending. They’re in control of the narrative, not the media — or at least they want to be.

There is a ground war in Gaza. There is a commercial airliner taken down by Ukraine, Russia, or Russian-backed terrorists. Oh! and for extra fun, Obama learned of the plane attack from Putin the day after additional sanctions (coincidence or veiled threat?)

Obama is in New York fundraising for Democrats. This isn’t just bad optics, this is insane!

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Dang. Wrong thread at 5:15 PM

M240H on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Not a surprise really.

Raquel Pinkbullet on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, July 17, 2014
8m
Malaysia Airlines official: 154 Dutch passengers on board jet that crashed in Ukraine; 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, 6 Britons, 4 Germans, 3 from Belgians, 3 Filipinos, 1 Canadian also on board; 53 unaccounted for – @JackBoard
End of alert

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Jen never was the sharpest knife in the drawer, and that drawer is chock-full of dull.

Another Drew on July 17, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Obama doesn’t know what to do. Putin told him about it and probably laughed. Now he really has to do something this time, and he can’t. He’s paralyzed.

BTW is Malaysian Airlines cursed or something??

PattyJ on July 17, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Dennis Rodman’s father owns restaurant called ‘Rodman’s Rainbow Obamaburger‘. I wonder if President S**t-for-brains has ever tried them.

Flange on July 17, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Pro-Russian Rebels Admit Downing MH17 in Intercepted Phone Call
by Bryan Preston

INC on July 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

INC, I know you just used the headline but shouldn’t we be calling these pro-Russian forces terrorists? To call them rebels is as absurd as McCain looking at Syria and finding freedom fighters.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 5:19 PM

I wonder what the code is for Biden getting loose?

No, I don’t mean thaaatt.

I mean, they’ve got to have a code and a protocol for Biden perusing the discotheques late at night, right?

LetsBfrank on July 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Hey Hopey found some time, between FundRaising/Burgers:

Malaysia Airlines plane crash in Ukraine, July 17, 2014
1m
White House: President Obama called Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Malaysia’s Razak about plane crash – @Reuters

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Obama gives crash 40 seconds before telling jokes…

Bmore on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Like Don Henley’s song, “Dirty Laundry”:

We got the bubble headed
Bleached blonde
Comes on at five
She can tell you ’bout the plane crash
With a gleam in her eye
It’s interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

The moment there are some bad economics numbers to explain… then Obama will turn to this and blame it for the numbers.

Meanwhile the world is catching fire.

ajacksonian on July 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

What Obama did for the Southside Of Chicago he has done for the USA and is now doing it for the entire world.

jukin3 on July 17, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Malaysia Airlines official: 154 Dutch passengers on board jet that crashed in Ukraine; 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, 6 Britons, 4 Germans, 3 from Belgians, 3 Filipinos, 1 Canadian also on board; 53 unaccounted for – @JackBoard
End of alert

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

It’s headlines like the one you posted that drive me crazy. 53 unaccounted for? Are we hoping they’ll be found roaming around Eastern Ukraine? How about 53 unidentified?

That being said, we’ve seen the competence of Malaysia Airlines before when it comes to reporting these numbers. But at least they didn’t send out a condolence e-mail out like they did last time.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Obama gives crash 40 seconds before telling jokes…

Bmore on July 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

No shout outs?

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Daniel Hannan, the British member of Europe’s parliament who has rankled liberals in a series of American speaking tours, tweeted his own disgust.

‘Listening to Obama’s statement [on] the airline tragedy, my mind went back to Reagan 31 years ago,’ he wrote.

How America’s leaders have shrunk.’

Schadenfreude on July 17, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Jugears will be upset if he reads that some fellow muzzies were on board, otherwise not so much for Americans.

txdoc on July 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

They’re in control of the narrative, not the media — or at least they want to be. In reality, Shep and Jennifer Griffin are laughing at them and going back to covering the crash. Baffling, but this is where we are with two and a half years to go.

obama was/is/will be a classless Pimp.

She is his Baghdad Bobbie.

The new spokesspoof is Baghdad Bobby II.

Schadenfreude on July 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Hell, they shoot and kill more people in the ‘hood in Chicago every weekend than the 23 Americans on the plane.

No wonder he is so nonchalant..just what he is used to as a ‘hood organizer

txdoc on July 17, 2014 at 5:35 PM

The nightly news hasn’t come on yet. Maybe the administration hasn’t heard about what happened in Ukraine today.

tkc882 on July 17, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Fox News-

It wasn’t the Ukrainians who fired that missile. Down to Russia or the Ukrainian terrorists supported by Russia.

And our bear is whoring for campaign bucks in NYC.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 5:39 PM

The nightly news hasn’t come on yet. Maybe the administration hasn’t heard about what happened in Ukraine today.

tkc882 on July 17, 2014 at 5:38 PM

They wait for the papers to arrive on the doorstep.

I mean there is no faster way to get news, is there?

ajacksonian on July 17, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Has anyone EVER seen Obama eating pork of ANY KIND? Just throwing that out there.

Meople on July 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

WTF…Is he Jewish? LOL

txdoc on July 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

No shout outs?

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Oh heII no! Of course there were shout outs a plenty. Its 0, right?

Bmore on July 17, 2014 at 5:44 PM

One of Ace’s commenters thinks it’s a simple matter of the administration being paralyzed as their problems internationally get bigger.

I agree with this. He’s in over his head and simply doesn’t know what to do or say. Optics alone would dictate you’d skip the burger run, at the very least, but he doesn’t know how to to do anything but campaign as this daily ‘messaging’ has indicated.

changer1701 on July 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

“Video: Shep Smith incredulous as State Department opens briefing … by ignoring Ukraine plane crash”
…as this is the OBOZO dictatorship we’re talking about, it’s entirely possible they aren’t “ignoring” it – they just don’t know about it. They’ll likely read about it in tomorrows leftist-rag newspaper – which will be when OBOZO sees it for the first time (after he reads the comics).

MicahStone on July 17, 2014 at 5:49 PM

And our bear is whoring for campaign bucks in NYC.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Well, he has to do something for his team since none of them want to be seen with him anymore. What surprises me is that people still want to throw money at him.

Cindy Munford on July 17, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Two and a half looooonggggg years to go.

Cindy Munford on July 17, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Jen Psaki
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
July 17, 2014

UKRAINE/RUSSIA/MALAYSIA

Malaysia Airlines Incident
New Round of Sanctions

MIDDLE EAST PEACE

Secretary Kerry’s Calls with Regional Leaders
U.S. Concerns about Civilian Casualties
Egypt Ceasefire Proposal / President Abbas Engagement / Two-State Solution
Secretary Kerry’s Engagement with Arab League

TRANSCRIPT:

1:27 p.m. EDT

MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone. Thanks for your patience. I have a few items for all of you at the top.

QUESTION: Jen, so you have seen these reports apparently coming from the manifest that there were 23 U.S. citizens onboard. Even if you don’t know if that’s actually correct, can you say whether you have that information from the manifest that apparently there were 23 U.S. passengers aboard?

MS. PSAKI: We’ve seen the public reports. I spoke to our team right before I came out here. We don’t have any additional details at this point on American citizens. We’re looking to, of course, obtain that information. As soon as we have it available, we’ll make it available to all of you.

QUESTION: And has the Secretary – we know that the President was – spoke to President Putin this morning about – not this, but the plane came up. Has the Secretary made any calls to anyone in Russia, anyone in Ukraine that you’re aware of?

MS. PSAKI: Not at this point. Obviously, this just happened a couple of hours ago. We can keep you updated as well on any additional calls that he makes this afternoon.

QUESTION: Does he plan to?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any planned calls to predict for you, but if any calls happen, we can make sure those are available to all of you.

QUESTION: So the Ukrainians’ foreign ministry is saying that they have reason to believe this – not just a guess, but based on their assessment – that this was a Russian-made Buk missile that is in the hands of the Russian separatists. You also have kind of chatter on Twitter about some of the separatists saying that they did shoot down a plane. Has your team on the ground spoken to the Ukrainians? Have they told you that this is your assessment – that this is their assessment and you just want to get your own confirmation? I mean, where are you at this point?

MS. PSAKI: As I mentioned, we’re in touch with Ukrainian authorities on this incident.

QUESTION: So they’ve obviously shared this assessment with you?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not – I don’t have further readouts, but I think it’s a safe assumption that we’re discussing reports and, obviously, a range of comments that have been out there. We don’t have our own confirmation of details. I can’t predict for you if and when we will. But obviously, events are very fluid on the ground. We don’t have any more information from here to share.

QUESTION: Because given the fact that it is very fluid and it’s very early, I mean, there is already a kind of – some common wisdom that says, like, the separatists have done it. But just to confirm that, is this your belief and you don’t have confirmation of that?

MS. PSAKI: It’s –

QUESTION: I mean, do you have suspicions of that at this point?

MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to speculate on this, Elise, for obvious reasons. We don’t have any additional details to share other than the reports you’ve seen about the plane crash. In terms of the causes, the individuals onboard, I have nothing else here from the U.S. Government.

QUESTION: There were some Ukrainian transport planes that were shot down, I think, in the last week, maybe in the same area. I mean, is that something that you’re looking at in terms of that this could be a similar mistaken –

MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to speculate further for obvious reasons.

QUESTION: Quite aside from the actual – what actually happened, whoever or whatever was responsible for it, is it correct that this type of missile that Elise just mentioned, the Buk missile, was among the –

QUESTION: I could have said that wrong.

QUESTION: Sorry?

QUESTION: I could have said that wrong, but I think it –

QUESTION: Well, however you pronounce it, this kind of missile was among the weaponry that you have said over the past – the course of the past couple – month or so that have been transiting from Russia, from these military facilities, sites in southeast – in western Russia, sorry – in western Russia to the separatists in Ukraine?

MS. PSAKI: I’m happy to check that, Matt, but I’d also note that we don’t have confirmation that that is the cause –

QUESTION: I know. I’m not suggesting –

MS. PSAKI: — or the source of the plane being down.

QUESTION: I understand that. But are these missiles that the Ukrainians say were responsible for this plane, are those the types of missiles, quite apart from this incident, that you were complaining had – that the Russians had been sending into Ukraine?

MS. PSAKI: I’m happy to check with our team on that information separately from this particular incident.

QUESTION: I mean, one of the things yesterday when you imposed these new sanctions on the Russians, I mean, isn’t it true that one of your concerns is that the Russians have been doubling down on their – increasing, actually, their supply of weapons to the separatists?

MS. PSAKI: We have stated that publicly and still have a concern about that. But I think there’s a difference between making unfounded or unconfirmed accusations from the podium –

QUESTION: I understand. But without talking about the specific Buk missile or something, has it been a concern that the Russians have been supplying them with truck-mounted or shoulder-fired missiles?

MS. PSAKI: We have expressed concern about it in the past, Elise. That hasn’t changed.

QUESTION: Particularly of those type of missiles?

MS. PSAKI: I would point you to past comments we’ve made about them.

QUESTION: The Administration has made very clear that it blames the Russians for escalating the conflict in this area and that they’ve added to the tensions there. So whoever is to blame, ultimately, for this downing of the airliner, is there some source of responsibility that must be borne by Moscow for the situation as it now exists in the area?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think broadly speaking, Matt, the fact that we announced yesterday a new round of sanctions, including several defense companies, several energy companies, speaks to our level of concern about the escalatory actions that we continue to see from Russia. However, we don’t have enough information with this specific incident, and that’s why I’m not going to be able to provide you any confirmation of details and I don’t want to speculate on who’s to blame or the root causes when we don’t have that information at this point.

QUESTION: When I speak of the climate, the climate of conflict that’s escalated there and obviously led to this tragedy.

MS. PSAKI: Well, again, we don’t know that at this point in time because we don’t know what the causes are or who is responsible for the plane going down.

QUESTION: And what, if any, assistance would the Administration provide for any investigation of this incident?

MS. PSAKI: It’s too early to say. And we have traditionally or historically provided a range of assistance. You’re familiar with the assistance we provided when the Malaysian plane disappeared. But we can keep you all up to date on whether there’s a request made and a request granted from our end.

QUESTION: Given the fact that it did – this plane did fall down in separatist territory, clearly those separatists are not equipped, capable to launch – I see that they’ve called – they’ve said that they’ll try and help with an investigation. But given the fact that they clearly don’t have any type of capability to launch any type of investigation – I think they might have control over the black boxes – I mean, how do you see the Ukrainians and how can you help navigate ensuring that there is an investigation?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’re in close touch with Ukrainian authorities, and if there are requests made, we will keep you all abreast of whether we are providing assistance and what kind of assistance we’re providing.

QUESTION: Can you confirm that any Americans were onboard?

MS. PSAKI: I can’t at this point in time. And again, this just happened so recently, Lucas, but we are happy to provide all of you with that information as soon as we have any details to confirm. And obviously, we’re seeking that information as we speak.

QUESTION: Change topic?

MS. PSAKI: Do we have any more? Okay, go ahead, Said.

QUESTION: I have –

MS. PSAKI: Oh, okay. Go ahead, Matt.

QUESTION: Yeah, I just have one more – one on Ukraine.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: Apart from this incident, just generally speaking the situation in the east, I presume – but please tell me if I’m wrong – that you still have the same concerns and the same issues with the Russians that you did yesterday that led to the imposition of the new sanctions.

MS. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: Is that correct?

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: And you haven’t seen any movement by them towards meeting – toward meeting the – what has been asked of them?

MS. PSAKI: In the last 24 hours, no.

QUESTION: And then – excuse me. I’m not sure if you had a reaction – I don’t think you did because it happened so late – but to the EU – the EU’s move –

MS. PSAKI: Well –

QUESTION: — which they said that they would have new sanctions by the end of the month. Is that okay with you guys? Is that –

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, they placed some restrictions – they took steps yesterday to impose costs on the Russian economy. We have been doing these, and including yesterday, in close coordination with the EU. They moved also to put in place the legal framework needed to impose costs on Russian companies that undermine Ukraine’s stability and territorial integrity with an end of July deadline for naming the first list of entities. I think that’s what you’re referring to.

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: And certainly, we were coordinating closely with them; we were in close touch with them. And we certainly welcome the steps that the Europeans have taken in this regard. I’m sure you have the details. I’m happy to outline those for you if you have any questions.

QUESTION: One of the companies that was hit by the sanctions yesterday was the Kalashnikov company, the company that makes AK-47s. The Russians today are saying that this specific sanction runs counter to the interest of U.S. consumers. Do you have any comment on that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me first say that, clearly, as we are making decisions about sanctions as it relates to here or any around the world, we take into account the impact on the United States, on U.S. businesses and consumers, and certainly we feel that peace and political stability and respect for international law are of critical importance to the global economy and to U.S. businesses.

But let me give you some specific examples of the precautions that we take. The sanctions we imposed yesterday were deliberately crafted to limit, to the extent possible, spillovers on the United States and on third-party countries – third-country companies, pardon me. For example, in the financial sector, we deliberately avoided interfering with day-to-day operations to avoid a shock to global financial markets. In the energy sector, we took steps to limit the ability of certain companies to raise dollar financing, but we have not tried to interfere with their ability to export oil and gas or to maintain their existing joint ventures. So we take into account, of course, any impact on U.S. businesses, U.S. consumers, as we make these decisions.

QUESTION: So these specific sanctions on the Kalashnikov company will not affect American consumers of AK-47s?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I haven’t seen the specific impact that’s been listed. We can – if there are specifics out there, we can certainly look into that, but –

QUESTION: But as far as you know, the ability of the American consumer to purchase semiautomatic assault rifles from Kalashnikov has not been affected. Is that correct?

MS. PSAKI: I can check that level of specificity and see if there’s a direct impact.

Said.

ISRAEL:
=======

QUESTION: New topic?

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Yeah. Gaza, Israel bombardment.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Are you aware of any efforts undergoing now of talks for the ceasefire and whether the United States is actually involved in this directly?

MS. PSAKI: Well, first let me say that Secretary Kerry has been in touch daily with Israel and with Egypt and with a range of countries in the region. Let me just see if there are any other specific calls to read out for you this morning. Today he spoke with – again with Egyptian foreign minister, with the Qatari foreign minister, and those have been regular occurrences. He hasn’t just supported the ceasefire track, he’s encouraged others to support it in full coordination with Egypt, who’s leading this effort and in full coordination – of course, we’re in close touch with Israel, as I mentioned. So I think our engagement is evident in his calls, in his level of focus on this important issue.

QUESTION: Israeli press reports say that the Egyptian proposal of last Monday was basically worked out between Tony Blair, the Israelis, and Egypt. And in fact, the Government of Egypt wanted to sort of to keep the Secretary of State of the United States John Kerry out of the process and not to give him any credit. Do you have any comment on that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’ve seen the same report that you’re mentioning, and I’ll say that the anonymous source is either out of the loop or ignorant of the facts, because the Secretary has been closely engaged at every point in this process, including in the Egyptian proposal, including – ever since then he’s been closely engaged on a daily basis with the foreign ministers in the region about how to proceed moving forward.

QUESTION: So neither the Israelis nor the Egyptians tried to keep the Secretary of State out in the dark?

MS. PSAKI: Hard to see how you’re keeping someone out of the dark if you’re speaking to them multiple times a day.

QUESTION: In.

MS. PSAKI: In the dark. Sorry. In the dark.

QUESTION: In the dark.

MS. PSAKI: Out of the loop, in the dark, a combination.

QUESTION: Out of the loop. Okay.

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yeah. Just wanted to follow up. Former President Bill Clinton told Maariv, the Israeli newspaper, that what needs to be done really is the peace resolution, otherwise Israel will risk being isolated, further isolation, and being chastised in international forums and so on. Do you agree with that assessment?

MS. PSAKI: That there needs to be a two-state solution?

QUESTION: There needs to be not just issues of ceasefire and so on, although this is quite urgent at the present time, but also the issue of a peace settlement and a two-state solution should be addressed immediately or right away or in a expeditious fashion, lest Israel be isolated in the international arena. Do you agree with that –

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the Secretary’s view is very much that the absence of a two-state solution leaves a vacuum that is often filled by violence. And we’ve seen what’s happened historically. Of course, our focus in the immediate terms is achieving a successful ceasefire that will bring an end to the violence, bring an end to the civilian casualties. That’s what our focus is on right now. And any two-state solution will require the parties to be willing to make the tough choices they haven’t been willing to make to date. But certainly, in the medium and long term and the stability and security of the region, we would agree with that point.

QUESTION: Jen –

QUESTION: One –

QUESTION: — yesterday you didn’t have a lot to say about the incident on the beach in Gaza. I’m wondering if you have more to say about it today now that things are a little bit more clear –

MS. PSAKI: More clear.

QUESTION: — about what happened, but also in general whether you think – well, what you think of the restraint or lack of restraint being shown by either side in this.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. Well, as the violence continues, and it’s continued overnight, there were reports – that we don’t have confirmed – of additional children, I think, since then, unfortunately. But we are increasingly concerned about the safety and security of civilians on both sides. We continue to urge all parties to do all they can to protect civilians, and we have been heartbroken by the high civilian death toll in Gaza, including the death of four innocent Palestinian children as they were playing on a beach in Gaza just yesterday.

It was – the reports were horrifying, the photos were horrifying, the video was horrifying. The tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed. We will continue to underscore that point to Israel; the Secretary has made that point directly as well.

QUESTION: You said that they (inaudible). Are they?

QUESTION: Is that – hold on, hold on, hold on – does that mean –

QUESTION: You said that they (inaudible). Are they?

QUESTION: Does that mean – let me – can I finish, please? Did – are you – does that mean that you don’t believe that Israel is doing – is practicing what it preaches in this, that they have not shown the restraint that you have called for?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, you have seen – you may have seen, but I can flag for you – that they have – the Israelis have expressed their sorrow and regret in these cases. What we’re asking for is a redoubling of efforts moving forward to prevent civilian casualties, given the events of the last couple of days.

QUESTION: So you do not believe they have done enough to prevent civilian casualties – or you do?

MS. PSAKI: I think –

QUESTION: I –

MS. PSAKI: We believe that certainly there’s more that can be done.

QUESTION: And you said that the Secretary has made this point to Prime Minister Netanyahu and –

MS. PSAKI: Yes.

QUESTION: Was that today? Have they spoken?

MS. PSAKI: Over the last 24 hours. I think they spoke yesterday.

QUESTION: Can I ask about the ceasefire and all of the various parties? It seems as if there’s a little bit of a rivalry going on right now between on one hand the Egyptians, who you seem to want to take the lead here in the current efforts with their proposal in terms of trying to manage – trying to get a ceasefire in place, and on the other hand, Qatar and Turkey, who also have close ties with Hamas. And it seems as if there’s kind of dueling agendas and both trying to play the major role here. Have you talked to the Qataris and the Turks and the Egyptians about kind of playing nice and working together for the common goal?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the Secretary’s been in touch with leaders from all of those countries. There is an Egyptian ceasefire proposal, as you all know, that was put out there just a couple of days ago, which we’ve continued to support – remains on the table. And we’re engaging with any country that we think could play a role in influencing Hamas and bringing an end to the violence and the death of civilians on the ground. I’m not going to speculate or weigh into any political rivalries in the region, but we’ll remain engaged with all of the countries that we think can play a role.

QUESTION: Well, let me ask the question differently. So are you focusing on the Egyptian plans for the ceasefire, or are you trying to create another parallel mechanism whereby the Qataris seems to be want to offer another cease plan – ceasefire plan for Hamas?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the Egyptian proposal is the one that has been out there to date. We remain engaged with all of the countries in the region who can play a role. I’m not going to predict for you whose ideas or whose views may be most incorporated.

QUESTION: Change subject?

MS. PSAKI: Oh, sorry. Do you want – go ahead. Go ahead.

QUESTION: So for the time being – I’m just trying to understand –

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: For the time being – so the Egyptian proposal is the dominant proposal for the time being?

MS. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: And everybody else will help – will play a supportive role, including the Qataris and the Turks?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we’re engaged with all countries to see what role they can play in influencing Hamas to engage and return to the 2012 ceasefire. So we are having a range of talks in that regard.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Just on the 2012 ceasefire, but not really – talk about opening the entry points and the border points and so on or lifting the siege that Gaza has suffered from for seven straight years. So this is a real problem that’s creating a humanitarian disaster. Should – after the fighting stops, or after the exchange of rockets and bombardments stop, should there be almost an immediate effort to sort of include things like this, to lift the siege, to open the borders, to allow – or to pressure the Egyptians, your allies, to open their point of entry and exit and so on? Should that be part of any sort of larger ceasefire agreement?

MS. PSAKI: I’m just not going to speculate on that from here. I think our view is that these conversations and discussions need to happen behind closed doors, and so we’re going to leave them there to the degree we can.

QUESTION: Yes, please.

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

QUESTION: I’m trying to figure out regarding this Egyptian proposal, and you mentioned again maybe for the second or third time in the last two or three days the ceasefire of 2012. Is – can we say it it’s a kind of reset? I mean, it’s coming – going back to what was the situation at that time, or how do you look to it?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we’re referring to it because that was sort of the last – well, not permanent – successful ceasefire, I believe is accurate to say, and so we think it can be a model or a basis. But of course, the Egyptians have been in the lead in putting a proposal forward. There are discussions happening behind closed doors, and we’ll see how they proceed. The Secretary, as I’ve mentioned, has been very engaged in discussions with all parties in that regard.

QUESTION: The – in the last 24 hours always the raised question is what kind of carrot you are offering to Hamas to accept a Egyptian proposal. Is there any carrot there?

MS. PSAKI: We’re not engaged with Hamas, so I would point you to the Egyptians or others to lay out, if they choose to, more about their discussions.

QUESTION: So you talked a bit about wanting the – saying that the Israelis needed to do more to live up to their own standards, but you didn’t mention Hamas. I wanted to give you the opportunity now. There are rockets that are still being fired into Israel; you have condemned that in the past. I presume that you still do. But just to put – to make it perfectly clear, Hamas – it’s not just Israel that needs to do more to prevent civilian casualties as well. Hamas needs to stop the rocket attacks, correct?

MS. PSAKI: Absolutely. And I think I have not – I don’t think we’ve made any secret about our concern, strong concern about the actions of Hamas, the indiscriminate rocket attacks, the targeting of civilians, and that concern remains.

QUESTION: And you believe that while Israel needs to do more to make sure it lives up to its own standards, you do believe your statements in the past that they have the right to defend themselves, and they are – and that’s what they’re doing in this operation –

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: — that those – those still stand as well, yes?

MS. PSAKI: Correct. That remains the case, absolutely. And let me just make one more point. We were all so heartened to see the statement by President Peres – and I don’t know if all of you saw that – where he also condemned – or I don’t think that’s the word he used, so I’ll let you take a look at the statement yourself, but he spoke to the deaths of these children. And that was something the Secretary also noted.

QUESTION: Okay.

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

QUESTION: And then one – just one more thing. During this UN-organized brief humanitarian ceasefire, there were several mortars that were fired from Gaza into Israel. Did you have any thoughts about that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think there were rumors over the past 24 hours, or unconfirmed reports, that there had been a new ceasefire put forward. But we never saw confirmation of that.

QUESTION: Not even of the UN – of the humanitarian pause?

MS. PSAKI: There was not – there were mixed and unconfirmed reports of that.

QUESTION: Okay. So that was not – that wasn’t a violation, because there wasn’t one?

MS. PSAKI: Correct –

QUESTION: All right.

MS. PSAKI: — although obviously, that’s where we would like to return to. But –

QUESTION: One more quickly, one more quickly. If this Hamas is already a designated terrorist organization and they are killing innocent people and throwing all these rockets, where is the Palestine government?

MS. PSAKI: Well –

QUESTION: Have they ask any U.S. help or Israeli help to fight against these terrorists?

MS. PSAKI: Well, President Abbas has been very engaged as the chairman the PLO and as, of course, the president of the Palestinian Authority. He is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. He is – I believe he was in – today he’s in Cairo. He’s been in discussions with all parties. He will play a central role in any solution, and we believe there is a role for him to play and for the Palestinian Authority to play at the table precisely because we believe there is a need that speaks for the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Palestinians. He has, I believe, a travel schedule over the next couple of days to engage in these discussions as well.

QUESTION: And if this continues, there cannot be a two-state solution, and also there cannot be a stable region.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, in response to Said’s question, our view is that the only way to bring an end to this type of violence is to have a two-state solution.

Do we have any more on this topic?

QUESTION: Yes. Just to –

MS. PSAKI: Okay, go ahead.

QUESTION: — clarify an issue, you’ve mentioned other people, other partners’ role. What is the role of United States? How you define it? Is it a facilitator, guarantor of this agreement, or what?

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly, we have a stake. The United States has a stake in a stable region, and we’re certainly very concerned about the civilian casualties and about what we’re seeing in the increasing violence on the ground. And as you know, we have long been a strong partner of not just the Israelis and Prime Minister Netanyahu, but also the Palestinians. And so we’re looking at this and feel real concern about what we’re seeing. The Secretary has been engaged because he has strong relationships with many of the parties in the region. I’m not sure I’m going to put an additional label on it other than to convey that he’s deeply committed to seeing an end to the violence on the ground and a return to the ceasefire.

QUESTION: And yesterday, you mentioned that he called the Arab League secretary general.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Do you see – foresee or whatever you can expect – a role from the Arab League or other international organization that – as UN to play in this process, or it’s just an Israeli-Hamas process?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I believe over the past couple of days you’ve seen some members of the Arab League speak out in support of the Egyptian proposal. Obviously, they have also an incredible stake in seeing an end to the violence on the ground, so that’s one of the reasons the Secretary is engaged. And to the degree any of them can play a positive role, we certainly support that and encourage that.

Go ahead, Samir.

QUESTION: Is the Secretary considering travel – considering traveling to Qatar and Egypt?

MS. PSAKI: The Secretary – while no final decisions have been made on travel, he remains prepared with his bags packed in the event it is productive and makes sense for him to travel to the region.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/07/229431.htm

Video: Daily State Department Briefing
July 17 2014
************

http://www.dvidshub.net/video/350144/daily-state-department-briefing#.U8hDrUDDWgY

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:54 PM

What surprises me is that people still want to throw money at him.

Cindy Munford on July 17, 2014 at 5:51 PM

To some of them, he’s still the ‘Messiah’. To others, it’s good for their egos to hob-knob with the President…and for all of them, it’s less about the person and more about enabling the fascist agenda they plan to personally profit and benefit from.

Athos on July 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Two and a half looooonggggg years to go.

Cindy Munford on July 17, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Cindy Munford: Yups,…UGH:)

canopfor on July 17, 2014 at 5:56 PM

changer1701 on July 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I agree..:)

PS..Even Team Obie’s Propaganda Friends at MSNBC are failing him (Warning:NSFW)..:)

Dire Straits on July 17, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Schadenfreude

Bmore on July 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

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