Politics

White House Concedes Russian Olympic Boycott Would be a “Bad Idea”

| by Sarah Siskind
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Ever the skillful evader of questions, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney finally admitted that boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics set in Sochi Russia would be a bad idea. The boycott idea was originally thrown out by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham urging President Obama to pressure Russia into handing over NSA leaker, Edward Snowden. The idea was short-lived, however, before House Speaker John Boehner shot it down.

Despite Carney’s theatrical exasperations to the questions about a boycott, he did not actually address the question until it had been brought up several times. A boycott of the Russian Olympics is not entirely farfetched in lieu of the White House’s increasing diplomatic pressure on Russia. Furthermore, it’s not unprecedented. In 1980, the year after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the United States boycotted the Olympics.

After the fifth or sixth boycott question, Carney stressed that the White House would continue to “work with the Russian government and other nations on this matter, and we hope to see Mr. Snowden return to the United States.”  

When pushed further, Carney replied, “I’m not going to engage in speculation about that, and the Olympics are a long way off.” Since becoming Press Secretary, Jay Carney has “refused to speculate” 585 times as of June 18. After another question, he responded, “I would refer you to the senator who, you know, sort of threw out that suggestion,” (Mr. Carney’s 1,384th referral). For more examples of Mr. Carney’s adept evasions and skillful circumventions, check out Yahoo’s interactive inventory of equivocations.

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With a grin, Carney asked, “You guys aren’t jumping to a superficial headline, are you?”

After being asked pointblank whether the boycott was a bad idea, Carney responded, “Yeah. But it’s not one that is an issue right now, because we’re engaged with the Russians and other governments in helping bring about a positive resolution to this matter."

Sources: Yahoo News