When State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller was asked about the right of Pakistani people to choose their own government, he went on to make a curious clip of tongue.
Asked by journalist Ryan Grim if election rigging in Pakistan could lead to sanctions during a press briefing, Miller said that the US would continue to support democratic ‘suppression’ in Pakistan.
“And we will continue to support democratic supression and a vibrant democracy in Pakistan, but I don’t have anything to preview from here,” Miller can be heard saying in a video of the exchange.
However, when the journalist tried to ask a follow up question, Miller quickly corrected himself and said, “I said expression.”
“Expression. Expression. I’m not going to let you trick me into correcting myself unnecessarily again. Expression,” Miller said.
The original exchange was edited to say ‘expression’ in the official transcript uploaded on the State Department’s website as well.
Earlier in the press briefing, Miller said it was up to the Pakistani people to decide who they wanted to elect to office.
“We want to see free and fair elections which are conducted in accordance with Pakistan’s laws, and we don’t support one candidate or party over another in Pakistan or anywhere else in the world,” he said.
When asked about the arrests of candidates and approvers, Miller replied that elections in Pakistan have to be conducted as per Pakistan’s laws.
“It’s not for the United States to dictate to Pakistan how it conducts – the exact specifics of how it conducts its election,” he added.