RCP's Simendinger to Earnest: Are You Going To Answer Hillary Questions Or Not? You Did Both Today.


ALEXIS SIMENDINGER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: You responded to the first range of questions about complications with the Clinton Foundation by calling them "specious claims" for which there was no evidence. But then when you were talking to Byron you suggested that the question should really go to the State Department and maybe to the foundation. So my question to you is there are going to be lots of inquiries about this going forward. Are you going to answer every one or defend every one of these or not? Because you did both things today.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: I'm not sure that's the case. I think what I did is I tried to be as clear as I could about our position on these issues. I'm not in position to talk in detailed terms about the memorandum of understanding. That was a memorandum of understanding that, right now, rests with the State Department. And for broader questions about Secretary Clinton, obviously, her campaign is the appropriate place to direct those questions. But moving forward I am going to try my best to stick to bright line I've drawn here about responding to details and debates of the 2016 campaign. There will be a time and place for that and some place we'll have to cross that line.

SIMENDINGER: Just to be clear, when you said today that there are specious claims, you have enough information yourself to have examined the claims against whatever the agreement was --

EARNEST: No. I'm not going to represent that to you.

What I am suggesting is that a lot of these claims, at least I haven't seen the evidence associated with the claims. So if somebody presents some evidence and if they do, it will probably be the first time, they can then go and present the evidence to the Clinton campaign and they can help you understand what the facts are. But I will not be in that business, she has a very talented and well-paid staff that can focus on that.

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