White House Slams Rubio Over His Attacks on Cuba Deal
The White House on Thursday hit back against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's harsh attacks on President Barack Obama's plans to
normalize relations with Cuba, saying he should back the deal because he
supported the confirmation of an ambassador to China earlier this year.
"One of the leading proponents of this strategy of shutting off funding
for the construction of this embassy and appointing an ambassador to
Cuba is Sen.Rubio, of course," White House press secretary Josh Earnest
told reporters at a daily news briefing.
Earnest was responding to a reporter's question about whether a new
embassy would be needed in Havana, since American diplomatic personnel
currently work out of the U.S. Interests Section housed in the former U.S. Embassy on the Malecón.
Citing Rubio's statements from the confirmation hearing of former
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus as Beijing ambassador in January, Earnest
hinted that those comments conflicted with his statements on Wednesday
China has long been under attack for its human-rights abuses. Baucus was
confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which Rubio is a
"In thinking about this," Earnest continued, "it occurs to me that it
seems odd Sen. Rubio would be reluctant and, in fact, actively seeking
to block the appointment of an ambassador to Cuba when earlier this year
he voted to confirm the ambassador to China that the president
He then added parenthetically that Baucus was Rubio's "former
colleague," who was "doing an excellent job of representing the United
States in China.
"The other thing I noticed that, in the context of those hearings, Sen.
Rubio said something that this administration wholeheartedly agrees
with," Earnest said. "Let me read it to you."
“Psaki: Kim Jong-un Comedy Totally Different from Mohammed Film Slammed by State Dept.,” by Bridget Johnson, PJ Media, December 17, 2014:
Sony Pictures officially decided not to release The Interview on Dec. 25 as planned, citing the major theater chains that refused to show the movie after hackers made 9/11-style threats against screenings.
“We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers,” the Sony statement said.
“Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like.
We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”
The Associated Press reported moments ago that federal investigators have connected the hacking to North Korea.
At the State Department earlier today, Jen Psaki said department officials did meet with studio executives during production, as revealed in leaked emails, but disputed reports that they OK’d the picture. “We’re not in the business of signing off on content of movies or things along those lines,” she said.
“As we have — as we’ve noted before, entertainers are free to make movies of their choosing, and we are not involved in that,” she added…..
Psaki said she wouldn’t compare the comedy about the assassination of Kim Jong-un to the Mohammed film initially blamed for the Benghazi attack, a movie heavily criticized by the State Department.
“I would not put them in the same category, which I’m sure does not surprise you,” Psaki said. “We don’t have — it’s a fiction movie. It’s not a documentary about our relationship with the United — with North Korea. It’s not something we backed, supported or necessarily have an opinion on from here.”
After violent reactions to Innocence of Muslims in 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “the United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”
“We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of other,” the U.S. Embassy in Cairo said back then….