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By Neil Munro – The Daily Caller
But his office did lie on Monday for national security reasons.
On Monday evening the White House’s press office distributed a fake Tuesday schedule for the president. The deceptive document went to the White House press corps, and to the many other media outlets and non-media groups that track the president’s schedule.
“In the afternoon, the President and the Vice President will meet with Secretary of Defense [Leon] Panetta in the Oval Office,” said the 6:31 p.m. email, titled “Daily Guidance and press schedule for Tuesday, May 1, 2012.” The guidance also announced that Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary, would give a press briefing at 3 p.m.
Several minutes before the scheduled briefing, the first pool report came in from reporters traveling with the president. “President Barack Obama is in Afghanistan for a whirlwind visit that will culminate in a live, televised address to the American people,” said a 2:56 p.m. pool report from Kabul.
At 3:06 p.m., Carney’s office released a new email. “Updated: There will not be a daily press briefing today,” it said. That planned deception was intended to deny the Taliban any warning of the president’s surprise May 1 visit to Kabul.
Few Americans, and very few of his political rivals, will complain about the White House’s anti-Taliban deception, but it starkly contradicts what Carney said at a meeting with student journalists on April 27.
“When I go and stand up in front of the podium, in front of the White House press corps, I never lie. I never say something that I know is not true,” Carney said at the meeting, hosted by National Journal.
Carney made clear, however, that his commitment to not lie does not preclude evasive answers or a refusal to answer. When “I know more than I can say — I answer it in a way that is truthful without obviously betraying the things that I can’t say for national security reasons or other reasons,” Carney said.
“It’s a fundamental principle of doing the job that, for the folks who cover a president, they have to have some faith — substantial faith — that while they know I can’t say everything, and those who work for the president can’t say everything, what we are saying is true.”