Updated February 11 at 11:00 am
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki today refused to say that terrorists who attacked a Jewish deli in Paris, killing four people, were targeting Jews, saying it was a matter for the French government to decide.
“There were not all victims of one background or one nationality,” Psaki said.
Actually, they were all Jewish.
Asked if, aside from the individuals, the deli was targeted because it was Jewish, Psaki said, “I don’t think we’re going to speak on behalf of French authorities and what they believe was the situation.”
Earlier, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest sought to defend Obama’s characterization of the attacks as “random,” saying Obama was referring to the happenstance that the individuals killed were present in the store. Earnest seemed to try to diminish the anti-Semitism involved, commenting that others in the store were not Jewish, although Earnest did ultimately acknowledge that the deli was targeted because it was a Jewish deli.
UPDATE: Earnest and Psaki later tweeted: “Our view has not changed. Terror attack at Paris Kosher market was motivated by anti-Semitism. POTUS didn’t intend to suggest otherwise.”