Harf to Reporter Saying Germany Is Backing Out: "Why Do You Always Focus On What People Say They Won't Do?"


MATT LEE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: What is it that the Saudis agreed to do in terms of the training bases?

MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, again, I can let the Saudis speak for themselves. The Saudis --

LEE: The Saudis apparently don't want to speak for themselves, that's the problem. The Germans said they are not going to participate militarily, you have the Turks saying that, you have the British foreign secretary clearly uninformed about his own government's position on this.

HARF: Why do you always focus on what people say they won't do instead of the plethora of things they have said they will do? What is that what you focus -- that's actually not an unfair question, I don't think, when we focus on our effort here.

In terms of the Saudis, we're in discussions with them about the specific program that the president announced funding for, they have agreed to help with part of it. Obviously, we can get more details out later as those are hashed out.

LEE: So it's not fully cooked yet? It's still --

HARF: Well, discussions are ongoing. The Secretary [of State] is on the ground in Jeddah and he has a meeting with the king of Saudi Arabia this evening. So let's wait until -- I know there is a desire for everything to happen in real time, but let's wait and see how those meetings go. They have agreed to play a role here in some way.

LEE: Everything does happen in real time.

HARF: You know what I meant, Matt. Do you have any more questions on this before I move on?

LEE: Yeah. You're not in a position now to say exactly what it is the Saudi contribution will be as it regards these training bases and training operations?

HARF: They've agreed to play a role here and we'll have more details available as we have them.

(via Ali Weinberg)

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