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Fox News reporter slams White House for deflecting on white supremacy

  • Fox News reporter John Roberts lost his temper on air on Thursday as he discussed the White House’s efforts to dance around questions on President Donald Trump’s stance on white supremacy.
  • “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it,” Roberts, Fox News’ chief White House correspondent, said in an impassioned reaction to Thursday’s press briefing.
  • During the presidential debate on Tuesday, Trump declined to explicitly condemn white-supremacist groups.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Fox News reporter John Roberts on Thursday became visibly frustrated with the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s responses to questions on why President Donald Trump had not condemned white supremacist groups.

“Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it,” Roberts, Fox News’ chief White House correspondent, said in an impassioned reaction to Thursday’s press briefing.

“The press secretary would not, in a definitive and unambiguous and non-deflecting way, say that the president condemns white supremacism in all its forms and any group that espouses it,” Roberts told the Fox host Melissa Francis.

He mentioned that several prominent Republicans in Congress had urged Trump to “correct” his recent statements on the matter.

“For all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking that question, I don’t care!” Roberts said. “Because it’s a question that needs to be asked, and clearly the president’s Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too.”

During the briefing, Roberts asked McEnany for a declarative statement on whether the president denounced white supremacism and groups that espouse it.

McEnany falsely said Trump had “condemned white supremacy more than any other president in modern history.” White-supremacist and other far-right groups have frequently celebrated Trump’s rhetoric and policy positions, and white nationalists have endorsed

WATCH: House Minority Leader McCarthy slams Pelosi on COVID-19 relief

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy harshly criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her negotiating position on COVID relief, saying the Democrats’ plan “mentions cannabis more than it mentions jobs.”

Watch McCarthy’s remarks in the player above.

“There are so many problems with the Democratic bill, why it’s gone nowhere,” McCarthy said.

“Could she not see past politics for once?” he asked rhetorically.

The White House is backing a $400 per week pandemic jobless benefit and is dangling the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill of $1.6 trillion as last-ditch, pre-election negotiations hit a critical phase Thursday.

But pessimism is again seeping into the talks and the two sides switched back to attacking each other in public.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi were expected to talk by phone early Thursday afternoon, but the speaker was publicly dismissive of the latest White House plan.

Pelosi postponed debate Wednesday on a Democratic alternative measure in hopes of getting an agreement.

A vote is likely on Thursday, spokesman Drew Hammill said, depending on how the Mnuchin-Pelosi exchanges go.

McCarthy also said he thought President Donald Trump won Tuesday night’s presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The first of three scheduled debates between Trump and Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and chaos Tuesday night as the Republican president repeatedly interrupted his Democratic rival with angry jabs that overshadowed any substantive discussion of the crises threatening the nation.

McCarthy’s advice to Trump was to let Biden talk more.

“I think the more he talks, the more the American public would decide they don’t want Joe Biden,” he said.

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