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Defense Press Secretary Balks At Reporters


Pentagon press secretary Geoffrey Morrell became defensive when questioned about the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" at Wednesday's Department of Defense daily briefing.

Reporters asked Morrell to address rumors that President Barack Obama would vow to end the discriminatory policy in his State of the Union address that night.

"I'm just not going to get into all of this," Morrell said in response to a question by a journalist. "If you guys want to talk to the White House today about it and see if they have anything for you, I don't have anything for you today beyond what we've said on this subject.

"Can I just finish my question?" the reporter asked.

"I think I've made it clear I'm not going to delve further into the subject at this point," he said. "I have nothing to add."

Morrell backtracked and permitted the reporter to continue replying, with "I'll humor you."

After she finished her question, Morrell repeated his answer, "I would direct your question at the White House. OK?"

Morrell would not confirm rumors of a push to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

After the heated exchange, Morrell nervously looked to his left, took sips of water, and fixed his tie.

The military policy was not the only subject Morrell would not discuss with reporters -- he also declined to weigh in on arms sales.

Toward the end of the briefing, Morrell indicated he was unaware of what the SCC (Security Consultative Committee) acronym stands for, although the definition was before his eyes on the podium.

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