‘Which country is more open and transparent?’

Via John McGlynn comes this exchange at the State Department press briefing on Monday:

MR. KELLY: Good afternoon. Let me start off by just kind of updating you where we are today in terms of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which you all know started today. The Secretary hosted a dinner last night for Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo. They discussed the agenda for today. And as you know, this dialogue is being co-hosted with the Department of Treasury. …

The Secretary will hold a private meeting with State Councilor Dai tonight, following the conclusion of today, the first day of the S&ED.

And this meeting, again, will allow them to review the day’s discussions, today’s discussions, and look ahead to the work tomorrow.

I think, as you also know, we’re going to arrange a conference call with a few officials from State and Treasury. That’ll be at 4:45. I think you’ve gotten that – the details on how to sign on and participate in that call.

QUESTION: That call is on the record?

MR. KELLY: That call, I believe, is on background.

QUESTION: Just a point of order here: The Chinese officials who are briefing
are briefing on the record.

MR. KELLY: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Which country is more open and transparent? (Laughter.)

MR. KELLY: I take your concerns on board and I’ll see what we can do.

QUESTION: I hope you do, because I think you should be embarrassed, actually.

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t know if we’re embarrassed, but I do take your concerns very seriously. And with that, I’ll – I will answer your questions seriously.

Those who make up America’s imperial court are so routine in their habits now, they apparently don’t even know how crooked they appear.