Earnest: When Obama Said Attack on Jewish Deli Was Random He Was Talking About Location, Not Victims

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At Tuesday's White House press briefing, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was grilled about President Obama's comment that the attack on a Jewish kosher deli in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo attack was "random."

Earnest said those killed in the "tragic incident" were killed "not because of who they were, but because of where they randomly happened to be."

"Does the president have any doubt that those terrorists attacked that deli because there would be Jews in that deli?" ABC's Jonathan Karl asked.

"The adverb that the president chose was used to indicate that the individuals who were killed in there terrible tragic incident were killed not because of who they were, but because of where they randomly happened to be," Earnest said.

"There were people other than just Jews who were in that deli," Earnest also said.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Well, back to the question Jim was asking about his description of the shooting at the kosher deli in Paris as being a bunch of -- "randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris." I mean, this was not a random shooting of a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris. This was an attack on a kosher deli. Does the president have any doubt that those terrorists attacked that deli because there would be Jews in that deli?

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Jon, it is clear from the terrorists, some of the writings they put up afterwards what their motivation was. The adverb that the president chose was used to indicate that the individuals who were killed in there terrible tragic incident were killed not because of who they were, but because of where they randomly happened to be.

KARL: They weren't killed because they were in a Jewish deli, though, they were in a kosher deli?

EARNEST: Jon, they were not targeted by name. This is the point.

KARL: Not by name but by religion, were they not?

EARNEST: Well, Jon, there were people other than just Jews who were in that deli.

KARL: Is there any doubt that that deli was attacked because it was a kosher deli?

EARNEST: No, Jon.

KARL: This was not any random deli, it was a kosher deli.

EARNEST: I answered the question once, no.

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