Fox News’ Ed Henry got into a tense exchange Monday with White House press secretary Josh Earnest when he asked why a higher profile official other than the ambassador was not sent to Sunday’s Unity Rally in Paris. The White House spokesman explained that the short notice for the outdoor event created some security challenges for the Secret Service.

“We’re talking about a march that came together with essentially 36 hours notice and a march that occurred outdoors with an obviously very large number of people who participated. We are mindful any time the president goes to a public place, or the vice president for that matter, that we don’t want to, or at least we want to try mitigate the impact that the security precautions would have on those who are participating in this public event.”

Henry acknowledged the importance of proper security precautions to protect the president; yet dozens of other world leaders made the effort to attend the rally.

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“How do you explain then that the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he made it there? He’s a huge target, obviously, unfortunately…”

Earnest suggested that Henry should talk to the other nations’ protective forces about their security precautions.

Moments later, Henry asked how Obama was able to attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December 2013. Earnest said that a plan had been in place for several years in the event of Mandela’s death, whereas the sudden attacks in Paris could not have been anticipated.

Henry continue to press Earnest for answers as to why President Obama did not go to Paris for the rally.

“You said the president, personally, wishes he would have liked to have gone. Why didn’t he, what was he doing on Sunday? We haven’t gotten an accounting on what the president did Sunday.”

Earnest responded that he hadn’t spoken to the president about his activities.

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Henry prodded Earnest:

“You obviously prepared for this. And you’ve said many times the most transparent administration. What was the president doing?”

Earnest was unable to give a reasonable account of the president’s activities that precluded him from joining more than 40 other world leaders at the march.

“I guess I prepared for a lot of questions today, but I did not prepare for a question based on what the president was actually doing yesterday.”

h/t: The Blaze

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