Egyptian citizens or Egyptian Christians? Reporter questions White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on terminology he used after 21 Egyptians were killed by Islamic State in Libya. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest fielded a series of questions Wednesday, directed at a statement he released over the weekend regarding Islamic State's execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. "You talked about the murder of 21 citizens. I'm just curious, why didn't you mention it was 21 Christians killed by Muslims? Is that relevant?" Fox News reporter Ed Henry asked. "It sure is because the ISIL extremists that carried out this attack indicated that the reason they were killing them is not just because they were Egyptian but because they were Christian. And I think the president has been very clear that it is - You know the President talked about this, actually, in his prayer breakfast speech that he gave earlier this month - that there is a responsibility for people of all faiths to stand up and speak out when you - when individuals try to use faith and distort faith to try to justify an act of violence," Earnest said. "Ed, I've tried to be clear here. I can't account for that specific line in the statement. But we've been clear there that we condemn this murder. The President was clear in the Op-Ed that was published today and on a variety of occasions I think I've been pretty clear here, I think we condemn the outrageous killing - these Egyptian citizens because of their Christian faith," Earnest added.