White House press conference descends into chaos after a reporter asked this one question

Joe Biden and the Democrats are only used to softballs from the press. Now they’re getting what they deserve.

And a White House press conference descended into chaos after a reporter asked this one question.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, became enraged during an exchange with a reporter who implied that the U.S. had provoked Iran with its naval presence in the Middle East.

During Wednesday’s press briefing, a reporter asked Kirby if President Biden had broadened and escalated the Israel-Hamas conflict by deploying naval forces to fight attacks on cargo vessels by Iran-backed proxy groups.

“That’s certainly turning things upside down, isn’t it?” asked a perplexed Kirby. “Wouldn’t you consider provocation launching ballistic missiles and drones at commercial [vessels]?”

Since Oct. 19, there have been approximately two dozen attacks on international vessels by Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen.

The Houthis claim their attacks are aimed at stopping Israel’s offensive in Gaza. On Saturday, the Houthis attacked a Maersk container ship.

Following that attack, a coalition of 13 maritime states led by the United States, warned of repercussions for the Houthis if they continued to harass vessels in the Red Sea.

The United States announced last month the launch of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational operation to defend commercial ships operating through the Red Sea.

Approximately 1,200 commerce ships have passed through the region since then, and none have been targeted by drone or missile strikes until Saturday.

Prosperity Guardian, according to Kirby, is a “defensive posture” taken in reaction to Houthi attacks.

“So you’re denying then that there has been an escalation since the Red Sea patrol,” was the reporter’s response.

“I totally disagree with the premise of your question,” Kirby said.

“It wasn’t the United States who decided to attack commercial shipping in the Red Sea. The Houthis did that. And who are the Houthis backed by? Iran. As I’ve said before, Iran provided the missiles the Houthis are using. We are simply in a defensive posture to protect that commercial shipping and we have in the last 48 hours.”

Undaunted, the reporter pressed Kirby, noting that Iran had deployed a warship into the Red Sea in apparent reprisal to the U.S.

“I ask you again, has the United States’ actions supported an escalation as a result?” she asked.

“No,” Kirby replied.

The alliance lead by the United States includes the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

In a joint statement, the countries condemned attacks on Red Sea trade as “unacceptable” and “illegal.”

Currently, five warships from the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, patrol the seas of the southern Red Sea and the western Gulf of Aden. So far, the ships have shot down 17 drones and four anti-ship ballistic missiles.

Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.

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