White House: U.S. 'strongly condemns' Egypt violence
Earnest said the United States has consistently urged the Egyptian military “to show restraint” and respect the rights of its people, including those in the protest camps.
Speaking later Wednesday during a surprise appearance at the State Department's daily briefing, Secretary of State John Kerry called the violence "deplorable" and said that the events in Egypt "run counter to the Egyptians' aspirations for peace."
Kerry warned that the violence would impede the transition to an inclusive civilian government and urged leaders to consider Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns' recommendations for a resolution.
Earnest told reporters Wednesday that talks are ongoing between Kerry, Burns, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and their Egyptian counterparts.
But the administration has yet not laid out any concrete steps to help halt the violence, including possible changes to the $1.2 billion in annual aid that the U.S. government continues to send to Egypt.
“We are continuing to review our posture and our assistance to the Egyptians,” Earnest said.
Obama was briefed this morning on the violence – which has left at least 149 dead and over 1,400 injured – by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Earnest said, adding that the president is “closely monitoring what’s happening” while he vacations in Massachusetts.
As the briefing was ongoing, the president was playing golf at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Mass., his third visit to the course since his vacation began Saturday.
Shawna Thomas and Ali Weinberg contributed to this report.