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WH Dodges On State Department Internal Watchdog Nominating Procedures

- February 22, 2016

In Today's White House Press Briefing, Earnest Dodged On Questions Whether Hillary Clinton Got To Select Her Agency's Own Watchdog. QUESTION: "Recently released emails show Hillary Clinton appeared to be directly involved the State Department, in selecting, or trying to select the State Department's Inspector General. Why didn't the White House put forward the candidate that she and her staff had approved of?" EARNEST: "I didn't see those, uh, specific emails, what I can tell you in that the appointment of independent inspectors general is something that this administration has taken quite seriously, and, I think we've seen, at the State Department, that they have an Office of the Inspector General that's been pretty robust, and been pretty prolific, in terms of making sure that they're looking out for the interests of, uh, the American people, and the American taxpayers, that they're providing independent assessment of that, and, but, I don't have information about that personnel search." QUESTION: "Does the White House think it's appropriate that a Department head would weigh in on the selection of its Inspector General, is that common practice?" EARNEST: "Well, I guess I can't really speak to how that process usually works, um, I think the first thing I'd point out is, it sounds like based on just what you've told me that the individual she weighed in on in support of isn't the person that was selected. Even if it had been, the person would only have been selected by the administration and appointed by the President. If there was strong confidence, that that individual could effectively do their work independent of the agency, and certainly independent of any sort of outside influence, that's a requirement for the job and that's certainly been a requirement for the job as the President has worked to appoint people to fill those kind of positions." (Josh Earnest, Remarks At The White House Press Briefing, 2/22/16)

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