Ned Price gets Matt Lee to admit his question was pointless

State Department Spokesperson net price overturned the tables Associated Press corresponding matt lee in a controversial exchange on s...


State Department Spokesperson net price overturned the tables Associated Press corresponding matt lee in a controversial exchange on sanctions against Russia.

Price and Lee had a highly publicized exchange a few weeks ago in which Lee pretended not to know that the government protects sources even when declassifying certain information, and Price correctly suggested that Lee was a useful idiot for Putin – later clarify he didn’t mean that Lee was a dupe because he still has to see the guy every day.

No shade for Lee, journalists ask stupid, useless and grandiloquent questions all the time. Sometimes it’s to get attention, sometimes it’s to get someone to talk and try to shake something up, sometimes a bit of both.

In this case, Lee was basically saying “Why should we believe you” that information from several countries showed that Russia was planning a fake provocation, and Price was like “Because that’s what the information I shared with you says. ‘, and Lee, knowing all about sources and methods and declassified information that doesn’t reveal them, was like ‘But that’s just, like, your opinion, man!’

But when Price pointed out that Lee’s stubborn refusal to accept the information offered set his oars in the same direction as Vladimir Putin’s, everyone scared. Nuances – like the fact that Lee’s rote skepticism wasn’t informed by a current base, but by past bullshit, or that other reporters asked for bullshit like “Shouldn’t Biden sympathize with Putin? and “Are we not leaving Putin no choice but invade? – were missed.

to wednesday ReportLee started on Price along similarly futile lines, but Price pulled off the trick to get Lee to point out the futility of his own question.

The topic was the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, about which Lee asked “How do you explain to people why you didn’t impose these sanctions sooner?”

Price responded at length, arguing for the impact now and the value of working together with allies. Next, Lee tried to insist that the United States would have had more “leverage” had it opposed the pipeline sooner. Price closed it, and Lee eventually admitted that there was no way to know the answer to the question he had just posed (emphasis mine):

SIR. LEE: But presumably you had more leverage – and I don’t understand why you don’t think you would have had more leverage if you hadn’t – if these sanctions had been imposed before the pipeline is not finished.

Mr. PRICE: So, Matt, you raise a good point as well. The pipeline, when this administration took office, was over 90% complete. We have imposed sanctions under the PEESA on a number of targets associated with this pipeline, individuals and entities. But the fact is that if we had sanctioned Nord Stream 2 AG, if we had sanctioned its corporate officers, it is far from certain that this would have prevented the commissioning of the gas pipeline. What the Germans did yesterday was make sure that the pipeline was no longer part of the equation.

SIR. LEE: Right.

MR. PRICE: So by acting with the Germans on how we did it, when we did it, and the way we did it, we made sure that this is an investment of $11 billion which is now a piece of steel sitting at the bottom of the ladder. Wed.

SIR. LEE: Okay, well, However, I don’t think you can prove – nor can the converse be proven. But you just don’t know if imposing the sanctions sooner would have had a more deterrent effect or a deterrent effect —

Mr. PRICE: Well, if we had made it a sunk cost many, many months ago for the Russian Federation, I don’t think it would have had much of a deterrent effect.

SIR. LEE: Well, it’s not anyway, so I’ll leave it at that.

Exchanges like these are often framed in terms of who won or lost, but there is much more to it. Lee may have been forced to admit that his premise was pointless, but he got an excellent quote from Price – that Nord Stream 2 is now “a piece of steel sitting at the bottom of the sea” – one that the White House press secretary Jen Psaki would use during his own briefing a few minutes later.

Watch above via the US State Department and Fox News.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Ned Price gets Matt Lee to admit his question was pointless
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