Ed Henry to WH's Earnest: Why Won't You Just Admit That You Were Wrong About Yemen?

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At Wednesday's White House briefing, FOX News' Ed Henry bluntly asked Josh Earnest why the Obama administration won't admit that Yemen has been a failure.

"Why can't you just say, 'You know what, we were wrong. It is not a model for success,'" Ed Henry asked Earnest.

"Despite that chaos, which existed last fall, the president said it's a success," Henry said. "He was wrong, right? Why can't you say he was wrong and we're trying to fix it? We're trying to figure it out? It just seems like we're going around and around that it's still a model when it's not, right?"

"Ed, we've been very clear about what we think the strategy can be and that strategy, even in Yemen, despite all the challenges that I readily acknowledge exist there, that we have put intense pressure on extremists inside of Yemen and it has mitigated the threat that they have posed to the U.S. and the West," Earnest responded.

"I would also concede to you that the ability of the United States to put pressure on these extremists is not helped by the fact that our personnel had to leave Yemen because the situation there has become so dangerous," Earnest also said.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: On Yemen, so as not to belabor it. Why can't you just say, 'You know what, we were wrong. It is not a model for success.'

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Because, Ed, we've tried to be very clear about what our strategy is as it relates to confronting extremists that seek to establish a safe haven in chaotic, unstable countries with chaotic unstable governments.

HENRY: Despite that chaos, which existed last fall, the president said it's a success. He was wrong, right? Why can't you say he was wrong and we're trying to fix it? We're trying to figure it out? It just seems like we're going around and around that it's still a model when it's not, right?

EARNEST: Ed, we've been very clear about what we think the strategy can be and that strategy, even in Yemen, despite all the challenges that I readily acknowledge exist there, that we have put intense pressure on extremists inside of Yemen and it has mitigated the threat that they have posed to the U.S. and the West.

I want to be clear -- it has not eliminated that threat. We continue to be vigilant about the threat that these individuals pose. And I would also concede to you that the ability of the United States to put pressure on these extremists is not helped by the fact that our personnel had to leave Yemen because the situation there has become so dangerous.

But, we do retain the capacity and capability to apply pressure to those extremists and we will do that.

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