State Department spokesman embarrassed in briefing after taking credit for Trump policies

Price was “noticeably flustered” after being questioned about taking credit for the previous administration’s policies.

By World Israel News

At a press briefing on Monday, an Associated Press reporter asked a pointed question when State Department Spokesman Ned Price appeared to claim credit for a Trump administration policy.

Fox News reports that Price made it seem that the Biden administration was behind a Trump-led effort to block a Russian pipeline project that would have made Europe more dependent on Russia.

The $11 billion pipeline project, called the Nord Stream 2, is meant to transport Russian natural gas to Germany.

Price said 18 companies were engaging in “good faith efforts” to reduce their involvement in the project. He appeared to credit the Biden administration for those efforts, saying the strategy of Biden and Congress were “working to good effect.”

AP reporter Matt Lee told Price that the work had started under Trump, Fox News reports.

“You guys have only been in office for a month, right? Are you telling me that in the last four weeks these 18 companies all of the sudden decided to say, ‘Oh my God! We better not be doing anything with Nord Stream 2,'” Lee said.

“You guys are taking credit for stuff the previous administration did. Yes or no,” he asked.

Fox News says Price was “noticeably flustered” and, in Fox‘s words, said he was “only speaking on behalf of the State Department – occupied by the same people since before Biden took office.”

The Biden administration did add sanctions on Friday, the news outlet reports, targeting a Russian vessel and its shipowner for their role in the pipeline project. Republican lawmakers said the new sanctions were redundant, as the Trump administration had already put sanctions on the ship and its company.

Calls for ending the project have picked up with the harassment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was recently sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for violating his probation, a decision widely criticized given that the violation was due to the fact that he had been recuperating in Germany after being poisoned, with strong evidence pointing to the Kremlin as the culprit.