WASHINGTON: The State Department has no plans to dismiss or take disciplinary action against deputy press secretary Emily Miller for abruptly trying to end an interview between Secretary of State Colin Powell and NBC's Tim Russert Sunday, according to a spokeswoman.
Powell was taping an interview for Meet the Press from a studio in Jordan when the camera that had been focused on him suddenly veered away, focusing instead on palm trees and water.
In the background of the Jordan studio, Powell could be overheard telling Miller, "He's still asking a question," and "Emily, get out of the way."
The State Department spokeswoman, Susan Pittman, said Russert had gone over his allotted time for the interview and was in danger of throwing Powell, already an hour late for other interviews, further off schedule. She said no dismissal or discipline was under consideration for Miller.
During the show, Russert, who chose to run the taped segment unedited, commented that Miller's actions were "inappropriate" for a public employee paid with tax-payer dollars. He also said that Powell called after the show to apologize.
When Powell came back on camera, Russert thanked him for his "willingness to overrule his press aide's attempt to abruptly cut off our discussion."