WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSMiami) – The daily press briefing at the White House Friday was more than TV show when fictional press secretary C.J. Cregg, resumed her role and said she would take questions.
Actress Allison Janney, who played the character on “The West Wing”, took the place of real-life Press Secretary Josh Earnest.”
“Hi everyone, good afternoon,” she greeted stunned reporters. “I was going to tell you all to be seated but I see you are already seated. So, we can begin. Josh is out today. He has, I believe it’s a root canal. (laughter) Yes, he has root canal, but let’s be honest. I’m better at this than he is anyway. Right? Just between us.”
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Janney joked around with the reporters and Josh Earnest, who came in the room and jokingly said, “This is not your show anymore.”
“I’m so sorry. I was in town, and I just, you know, wanted to take a moment — totally, this is your office,” Janney said.
“Well, you’re standing at the podium, so you might as well use it,” Earnest said.
Janney then addressed a more serious topic and the real reason for her White House visit, which was to talk about the nation’s opioid epidemic “and to celebrate those who are working to help others combat substance use disorder.”
Janney currently stars in the hit CBS series “Mom” which is about people in recovery. The actress said that the White House on Friday is honoring 10 people from across the country as “White House Champions of Change” for their leadership in preventing prescription drug abuse and heroin use and for increasing access to treatment and supporting Americans in recovery.
“This is a disease that can touch anybody and all of us can help reduce drug abuse through evidence-based treatment and recovery,” Janney said. “Research shows it works, and courageous Americans show it work, show it works every day. I’m so nervous, I can’t believe it,” she said, as she finished her speech.
Before leaving the briefing, Janney returned the podium to its rightful owner and took just one question. Asked which presidential candidate fictional “West Wing” President Josiah Bartlett would support in the 2016 Democratic primary, Janney demurred. “I think you know the answer to that question,” Janney said.