A reporter tried to enter a debate over a hypothetical with State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, asking her if she thought President Trump’s warning to Syria to stop using chemical weapons against civilians might have encouraged a terrorist group to launch one instead in hopes the blame would fall on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
That reporter is Caleb Maupin, of the Russian-funded RT network. The Washington Free Beacon has this information on Maupin:
A website that appears to have been run by Maupin says that he "is an activist in Workers World Party." Maupin's bio page on RT's website describes him as a "radical journalist" who "was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement from its planning stages" and "works to promote revolutionary ideology, and to support all who fight against the global system of monopoly capitalist imperialism."
With that in mind, here was their exchange:
MAUPIN: This recent statement from the White House alleging that the Syrian government was planning an upcoming chemical attack; Are you concerned that that could have created an opening for terrorist groups to carry out a chemical attack?
NAUERT: [after a long pause of disbelief] No.
MAUPIN: You’re not concerned even though al-Nusra, al Qaeda groups have been using chemical weapons in Syria that’s documented?
NAUERT: No. Next question on Syria.
MAUPIN: I mean, they could carry out a chemical attack and then the White House saying Assad’s going to do it, that could create a cover for them.
NAUERT: Do I have to do this again? We know that Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people and he's done that repeatedly, including women and children. And we have all seen that, we’ve all seen the video, and there is no debate about that. Okay?
Maupin jumped in later in the briefing, hoping to nail the Trump administration. But Nauert wasn’t having it:
“You want to have a debate about a hypothetical, and I’m not going to get into a debate. If you want to try to make excuses for the Assad regime, go right ahead. You've got a lot of cameras on you right now."
Watch the footage above.