Fox News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry pushed White House press secretary Josh Earnest Monday to respond to a recent New York Times report about Al Sharpton's unpaid taxes.
The Times piece, published Tuesday, claimed that the MSNBC host has a "troubling financial past," with some $4.5 million in state and federal tax liens currently against him.
"Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills," Times investigative reporter Russ Buettner wrote.
Henry didn't hesitate to ask about the reports during a White House press briefing Monday, but Earnest had little to say, admitting that he had not even read the Times report.
Here's how the exchange went down:
Henry: Is the White House concerned that he hasn't paid his taxes?
Earnest: I have to be honest with you, I haven't read those stories. The question that you're asking though I think does illustrate the kind of important and justified restrictions that there are on political interference with any sort of tax investigations and tax enforcement. I'm confident that this administration is allowing whatever enforcement procedures are underway to be carried out.
Henry: But an advisor to the president should pay his or her taxes?
Earnest: I think every American should pay his or her taxes. Controversial statement for a Monday.