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USA: State Dept. dodges questions from RT, refuses to treat it like other media02:56

USA: State Dept. dodges questions from RT, refuses to treat it like other media

United States, Washington DC
November 17, 2016 at 00:10 GMT +00:00 · Published

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "I'm not making those accusations. I'm telling you we've seen reports from credible aid organisations that five hospitals and a clinic --."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "Which hospital --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "At least one clinic --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "In what cities at least?"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "You can go look at the information that many of the Syrian relief agencies are putting out there publicly. We're getting our information from them too. These reports --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "But you are citing those reports without giving any specifics."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Because we believe these agencies are credible and because we have other sources of information that back up what we're seeing from some of these reports. And you know what? Why don't ask --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "If you exactly."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Here's a good question."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "That's what I --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Why don't you ask your defence ministry --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "That's what I was --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "What they're doing and see if you can get --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "If you give a specific list --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, no, no"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "If you give a specific list... If you give a specific list of hospitals --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, no, no."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "My colleagues who are listening --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "I'm supposed to --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "--hopefully would be able to go and ask Russian officials about a specific list of hospitals that you're accusing Russia of --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "You work for Russia Today, right? Isn't that your agency?"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "That is correct. Yes."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "And so why shouldn't you ask your government the same kinds of questions that you're standing here asking me?"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "When you level --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Ask them about their military activities. Get them to tell you what they're or to deny what they're doing."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "When I ask for specifics, it seems your response is why are you here? Well, you are leveling that accusation."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, ma'am."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "And if you give specifics --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, ma'am."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "my colleagues would be able to ask Russian officials."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Once again, you're just wrong. I'm not leveling those accusations. Relief agencies that we find credible are leveling those accusations."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "But you repeat them."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "So why don't you question them about their information and where they're getting it? And why don't you question your own defence ministry?"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "Which organisations then? Which ones? Where should I look?"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "We'll get you - we will get you a list of them after the briefing. I don't have it right here in front of me, but I'm happy to provide to you some of the relief agencies that are telling us what they're seeing on the ground."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "And specifically on blocking aid within the 28 days that Russia and Syria had stopped the airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, and I understand they resumed by the - they were resumed by the Syrian military yesterday. Do you... can you give any specific information on when Russia or the Syrian government blocked the UN from delivering aid? Just any specific information."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "There hasn't been any aid delivered in the last month."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "And you believe it was blocked exclusively by Russia and the Syrian government."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "There's no question in our mind that the obstruction is coming from the regime and from Russia. No question at all. Ma'am."

SOT, Matt Lee, AP journalist (English): "Please be careful about saying 'your defence minister' and things like that. I mean, she's a journalist just like the rest of us are, so it's, she's asking pointed questions, but they're not --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "From a state-owned, from a state-owned, from a state-owned outlet, Matt. From a state-owned outlet that's not independent."

SOT, Matt Lee, AP journalist (English): "The questions that she's asking are not out of line."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "I didn't say the questions were out of line. I didn't say the questions were out of line."

SOT, Matt Lee, AP journalist (English): "All right. Okay."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Okay? But I'm not... I'm sorry, but I'm not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets."

US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that he wouldn't put RT “on the same level” as other media outlets, making the comments during a Washington DC briefing, Wednesday, where he was grilled on the State Department’s sources regarding airstrike targets in Syria.

During the briefing, Kirby accused the Russian government of bombing "five hospitals and a clinic" in Syria. When RT reporter Gayane Chichakyan asked for a specific list of hospitals which had allegedly been hit, Kirby refused to clarify details. He said: "Why don't you ask your defence ministry what they are doing? You work for Russia Today [RT], and so why shouldn't you ask your government the same kind of questions that you are asking me?"

AP journalist Matt Lee intervened by asking Kirby to "be careful about saying 'your defence minister' and things like that. I mean, she's a journalist just like the rest of us are, so she's asking pointed questions."

Kirby replied by brushing RT off as a state-owned outlet and added that he was "not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets."

USA: State Dept. dodges questions from RT, refuses to treat it like other media02:56
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SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "I'm not making those accusations. I'm telling you we've seen reports from credible aid organisations that five hospitals and a clinic --."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "Which hospital --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "At least one clinic --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "In what cities at least?"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "You can go look at the information that many of the Syrian relief agencies are putting out there publicly. We're getting our information from them too. These reports --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "But you are citing those reports without giving any specifics."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Because we believe these agencies are credible and because we have other sources of information that back up what we're seeing from some of these reports. And you know what? Why don't ask --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "If you exactly."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Here's a good question."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "That's what I --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Why don't you ask your defence ministry --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "That's what I was --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "What they're doing and see if you can get --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "If you give a specific list --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, no, no"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "If you give a specific list... If you give a specific list of hospitals --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, no, no."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "My colleagues who are listening --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "I'm supposed to --"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "--hopefully would be able to go and ask Russian officials about a specific list of hospitals that you're accusing Russia of --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "You work for Russia Today, right? Isn't that your agency?"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "That is correct. Yes."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "And so why shouldn't you ask your government the same kinds of questions that you're standing here asking me?"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "When you level --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Ask them about their military activities. Get them to tell you what they're or to deny what they're doing."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "When I ask for specifics, it seems your response is why are you here? Well, you are leveling that accusation."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, ma'am."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "And if you give specifics --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "No, ma'am."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "my colleagues would be able to ask Russian officials."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Once again, you're just wrong. I'm not leveling those accusations. Relief agencies that we find credible are leveling those accusations."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "But you repeat them."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "So why don't you question them about their information and where they're getting it? And why don't you question your own defence ministry?"

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "Which organisations then? Which ones? Where should I look?"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "We'll get you - we will get you a list of them after the briefing. I don't have it right here in front of me, but I'm happy to provide to you some of the relief agencies that are telling us what they're seeing on the ground."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "And specifically on blocking aid within the 28 days that Russia and Syria had stopped the airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, and I understand they resumed by the - they were resumed by the Syrian military yesterday. Do you... can you give any specific information on when Russia or the Syrian government blocked the UN from delivering aid? Just any specific information."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "There hasn't been any aid delivered in the last month."

SOT, Gayane Chichakyan, RT's reporter (English): "And you believe it was blocked exclusively by Russia and the Syrian government."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "There's no question in our mind that the obstruction is coming from the regime and from Russia. No question at all. Ma'am."

SOT, Matt Lee, AP journalist (English): "Please be careful about saying 'your defence minister' and things like that. I mean, she's a journalist just like the rest of us are, so it's, she's asking pointed questions, but they're not --"

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "From a state-owned, from a state-owned, from a state-owned outlet, Matt. From a state-owned outlet that's not independent."

SOT, Matt Lee, AP journalist (English): "The questions that she's asking are not out of line."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "I didn't say the questions were out of line. I didn't say the questions were out of line."

SOT, Matt Lee, AP journalist (English): "All right. Okay."

SOT, John Kirby, US State Department spokesperson (English): "Okay? But I'm not... I'm sorry, but I'm not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets."

US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that he wouldn't put RT “on the same level” as other media outlets, making the comments during a Washington DC briefing, Wednesday, where he was grilled on the State Department’s sources regarding airstrike targets in Syria.

During the briefing, Kirby accused the Russian government of bombing "five hospitals and a clinic" in Syria. When RT reporter Gayane Chichakyan asked for a specific list of hospitals which had allegedly been hit, Kirby refused to clarify details. He said: "Why don't you ask your defence ministry what they are doing? You work for Russia Today [RT], and so why shouldn't you ask your government the same kind of questions that you are asking me?"

AP journalist Matt Lee intervened by asking Kirby to "be careful about saying 'your defence minister' and things like that. I mean, she's a journalist just like the rest of us are, so she's asking pointed questions."

Kirby replied by brushing RT off as a state-owned outlet and added that he was "not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets."

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