President Barack Obama Struggles To Find List Of Reporters To Call On

By Brian Flood 

President Barack Obama held a news conference in the East Room of the White House to address the Iran nuclear deal, among other things, on Tuesday. The scheduled start time was 1 p.m. ET, but Obama didn’t arrive at the podium until 1:25 p.m. ET.

After a six-minute opening statement in which Obama said the Iran deal cuts off “every single one” of Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons, it was time for questions. Obama had a pre-scripted order of which reporters and journalists will be called upon to ask questions, which he finally found after checking a few different jacket pockets. After a chuckle from the crowd, Obama called on AFP White House correspondent Andrew Beatty for the first question.

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Obama smirks when he finds his list of reporters to call.

The second question went to ABC News White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, who was initially cut off by Obama when he tried to slip in a second question about someone named “Donald.” Karl eventually asked a follow-up question (not about the mysterious Donald), which resulted in a lengthy answer regarding what would happen if Iran cheats on the deal. 

Next up was Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal, who asked what kind of Middle East the president hopes to leave behind. The fourth question went to Politico’s Michael Crowley who was followed by CBS News’ Major Garrett asking about the American prisoners being held in Iran. Garret went on to say “many in the Pentagon feel you’ve left the Joint Chiefs of Staff hung out to dry.”

Obama quickly praised Garrett for the way he crafted his question, before calling it “nonsense” and telling the veteran reporter that he should “know better.”

April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks switched thing up with the sixth question, asking about criminal justice reform, the president’s upcoming trip to Kenya and removing Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom. Obama joked that she “stuffed a lot in there” and asked if she learned from Jonathan Karl.

Obama eventually gave a “shout out to Five Guys” for hiring an ex-felon. He then explained that there isn’t precedent to revoke the nation’s highest civilian honor, before stating “it’s rape” when you drug a women and have sex with them without consent. “Any civilized country should have no tolerance for rape,” Obama said.

“Have we exhausted Iran questions here?” Obama asked before noting Josh [Earnest] is getting a little stressed. A unidentified reporter was called on to ask Obama about Iran’s “cash windfall.”

After 68 minutes, Obama ended things by promising he’ll discuss this topic again.

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