Answering a question, especially in a public forum, is a tricky thing that not everyone can master. Especially when you are in a sort of communication role where you are representing a large entity (like the United States government), every single word you say has to be measured.
So it’s probably a good idea to think before you talk – but then, you don’t want to spend too long thinking otherwise you’ll be standing with a blank stare on your face with scores of people waiting to hear your reply.
That’s exactly what happened to US state department official Stuart Jones. The top US diplomat in the Middle East, Jones was asked at a presser about how the US viewed ‘Saudi Arabia’s commitment to democracy’, and whether he thought democracy was a barrier or buffer against extremism.
Complicated question, sure, but one that should be answerable.
Jones, instead, stood for 19 long seconds thinking about his answer.
Watch video below…