On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked by CBS News reporter Kylie Atwood to comment on reports that U.S. ‘stabilization funding’ of the White Helmets is now on pause – an odd move for one of the group’s state-sponsored backers, and given they were just hosted and praised by the state department last month.
Atwood has been covering this aspect of U.S. foreign policy in Syria, specifically about how the U.S. is potentially looking to other coalition members for Syria stabilization funds.
QUESTION: But if the funding for them stops, does it mean that their work has gotten less good?
MS NAUERT: Their work stands for itself, and that is excellent work. Leave it at that.
Watch the exchange below as Nauert avoids answering the question, as she typically does:
A journalist yesterday asked about an internal state dept document that says US funding for the #WhiteHelmets was to b stopped on April 15. Heather plays dumb about it & proceeds to praise the Al-Qaeda tied propaganda group saying she exchanged emails w/ them the other day #Syria pic.twitter.com/Jxc59ZpiR8
— Walid (@walid970721) April 20, 2018
Read the full transcript of the briefing here.
Clearly, this state department continues to struggle providing a coherent and consistent message on Syria and the White Helmets. This is yet another example.