State Dept. spars with Russian press


A State Department spokesman on Thursday charged a reporter from the Russian website RT with asking "crazy" questions and being part of Russia's propaganda machine, after the reporter started asking a series of questions about whether the U.S. approves of Turkey's military actions in the Middle East.

"I can't believe honestly that you aren't embarrassed to ask these questions," State Department spokesman John Kirby charged during the exchange, which lasted several minutes. "You have to be looking at these questions and almost laughing to yourself, don't you? I mean, they're absolutely crazy."

Tensions between Russia and Turkey have been heightened since Turkey shot down a Russian plane, and on Thursday, an RT reporter asked Kirby, "Does the U.S. approve of Turkey's development of forces in Iraq without the permission of the Iraqi government?"

Kirby immediately became frustrated and said he touched on this development in a previous State briefing. But the reporter pressed him further.