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Fox News reporter John Roberts criticized White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday for refusing to provide a "definitive and unambiguous" statement condemning white supremacist groups on behalf of President Trump, arguing that she deflected by only pointing to his past statements.

Why it matters: Roberts pointed out that despite McEnany's insinuation that the media is over-exaggerating the controversy over President Trump telling the far-right Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" at Tuesday's debate, a number of Trump's Republican allies have urged the president to clarify and unequivocally denounce white supremacy.

What he's saying: "If the president didn't know who Proud Boys were, and Joe Biden just threw out the name — if he didn't know who they were, why did he denounce them?" asked a visibly frustrated Roberts.

  • "Why didn't he say, 'I don't know who they are. Can you give me a little bit more information about them,' and then make a decision about it? So this all remains very puzzling."
  • "And for all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for asking that question, I don't care. Because it's a question that needs to be asked, and clearly the president's Republican colleagues a mile away from here are looking for an answer for it too. So stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I'm tired of it."

Go deeper: McEnany spars with reporters over whether Trump condemned white supremacy

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

A tense, tectonic 48 hours

A stage goes up on the Ellipse yesterday ahead of tomorrow's pro-Trump rally. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The next two days look to be the most tumultuous and telling of the wild, never-ending 2020 election.

Driving the news: Twin runoffs in Georgia today determine control of the U.S. Senate. And perhaps half or more of the Republicans in Congress will cast an unprecedented number of votes to invalidate President-elect Biden’s clear win, as the House and Senate meet to certify the Electoral College votes.

2 hours ago - World

Iran rejects nuclear talks with U.S., for now

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at Iran/EU talks in 2015. Photo: Carlos Barria/POOL/AFP via Getty

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that conditions are not ripe for informal nuclear talks between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers.

Why it matters: The Biden administration had proposed the talks as part of its efforts to negotiate a path back to the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House expressed disappointment with Iran's response, but said it remained willing to engage with Tehran.

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. sets weekend records for daily COVID vaccinations

A driver waits to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Inglewood, California on Feb. 26. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just over 2.4 million coronavirus vaccinations were reported to the CDC on Sunday, matching Saturday's record-high for inoculations as seen in Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

Why it matters: Vaccinations are ramping up again after widespread delays caused by historic winter storms. Over 75 million vaccine doses have been administered thus far, with 7.5% of the population fully vaccinated and 15% having received at least one dose.