White House press secretary to reporters: ‘Don’t complain when you have tough conversations’

Dylan Stableford
The Cutline

A partial transcript from Wednesday's press briefing with White House press secretary Jay Carney, who was asked by Fox News' Ed Henry about CBS News investigative reporter Sheryl Attkisson's allegations that officials at the White House and Justice Dept. yelled at her over her reporting on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms's controversial "Fast and Furious" operation. Under that program, ATF agents allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to cross the U.S. border into Mexico--and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

HENRY: Sheryl Attkisson of CBS News is saying that a few days ago, I believe, a White House official and a Justice Department official was yelling and screaming at her--she's been reporting about this for some time--about this whole story.

You were a reporter once. When government officials start yelling at you, sometimes it's because they're getting defensive, right? Why would they be yelling at her?

First of all, I have no insight into the conversations she may or may not have had. Second of all, I know that you guys are all hard-bitten, veteran journalists and probably don't complain when you have tough conversations with your sources sometimes. Again, this is just generally speaking.

I don't know about it.  I think it's --

HENRY: But she's a credible reporter. When you say, "I'm not sure what conversations she had," I mean, she said this on the record that she was yelled at and screamed at. Why would the administration be yelling at her about this story?  I don't--

MR. CARNEY: Again, I take issue with the report. I don't know that it's true. I'm just--what I think is that I know you are tough enough to handle an extra decibel or two in a phone conversation. I'm not sure that that happened here, but it's a surprising complaint.

[H/T: Mediaite]