State Department spokesman Ned Price met with a reporter during a press conference at the White House on Monday.
The tense exchange erupted when Price boasted of the administration’s efforts to reduce the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Price said 18 top Western companies have made “good faith efforts to liquidate” their stake in Nord Stream 2.
“This shows that legislative goals and our actions are having a good effect,” Price said of the U.S. bipartisan opposition to the bill that dates back to the time of former President Donald Trump.
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee came in later.
“You guys have only been in the office for a month, haven’t you? You tell me that in the last four weeks these 18 companies have suddenly decided to say, ‘Oh God! You better do nothing with Nord Stream 2,'” Lee said. .
“You guys take credit for the things the previous administration did. Yes or no?”
Price and Lee talked to each other for several seconds, before the State Department spokesman was able to say he was speaking only on behalf of those working in the department he represents.
“The people who worked this, the people who work this now, were the same people a month ago, they were the same people three months ago,” Price said.
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