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White House accused of planting questions at Obama conference

world Updated: Jun 25, 2009 13:59 IST

The White House has been accused of planting a question on Iran's disputed presidential election at the latest press conference held by US President Barack Obama.

However, the charges were strongly refuted by Obama's Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

At his daily press briefing Gibbs was flooded with unpleasant questions from regular White House correspondents about the manner in which a reporter from Huffington Post, a popular website, was invited to the briefing and asked to put a question on Iran to Obama at his Tuesday's press briefing.

Several of the White House correspondents argued that such a thing is sending a wrong message among their readers and viewers and tends to question their credibility.

"From the day this administration walked in the door, there was a perception that you were calling people, telling them, you will be picked. And that was the perception, and it's out there. And then to put this person from the Huffington Post, it was awkward," a woman journalist asked.

As Gibbs entered into heated argument with a group of correspondents, another reporter said they were asking such questions to the White House spokesman as the people of the United States "want to make sure that we are out there being accountable for them. They do want to know."

Gibbs defended the decision to invite Huffington Post reporter to Obama's conference and being told in advance that he would be picked to ask a question.