Next time Jay Carney goes on vacation, maybe Olivier Knox could fill in for him. After all, the Yahoo News reporter is willing to defend the Obama spokesman against charges of making politically-inspired comments about the Olympics, even while others in the press corps were literally laughing at Carney's denial. H/t Mike Allen's Politico Playbook.
After Mitt Romney had caused a minor kerfuffle with this comments about the Olympics, Carney began his press briefing by highlighting Obama admin efforts to assist the UK with security planning for the Games. Asked whether his remarks were tied to Romney's trip, Carney countered: "The answer is no. I'm just trying to fill you in on the president's day." That was too much for even the Obama-friendly press corps, which laughed in response. But here comes Knox to the rescue in his report, assuring us that "there's no evidence of any political motive." Thanks Olivier! Read more after the jump.
Following in the footsteps of ex-Time magazine reporter Carney himself, could Knox be the next MSMer through the revolving door into the Obama administration? And is it just me or is there some resemblance between the two? See photos at foot. That's Knox left, Carney right.
Here's the relevant section of Knox's report.
White House press secretary Jay Carney kicked off his daily briefing Thursday by describing in some detail how Obama's top homeland security and counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, had led a discussion with key security officials "to take stock of our efforts, working with the United Kingdom, to prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Games."
That none-too-subtle message came after Romney, who often cites his experience running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ruffled feathers in Britain by telling NBC in an interview Wednesday he wasn't sure London was ready.
. . .
On Thursday, in apparent damage-control mode, Romney emerged from a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron with a different message. "What I see shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organization, and I expect the Games to be highly successful," Romney said.
So was the White House announcement of Brennan's security briefing linked to Romney's trip?
"The answer is no," Carney said. "I'm just trying to fill you in on the president's day."
That remark drew laughter from reporters. But there's no evidence of any political motive. The United States has no stauncher allies than Britain, Israel or Poland—as many a president has said before—and top officials are virtually in constant contact. And Obama doesn't control the schedule of the Olympics, much less the timetable for the recent bomb attack that killed Israelis in Bulgaria. But the timing seems sure to stoke resentment among Republicans who already charge that the president has been mixing politics and public policy too freely.