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Cell Phones Interrupt Already Contentious White House Briefing

The White House press briefing this afternoon has been contentious, with some major give-and-take between CNN’s Ed Henry, ABC’s Jake Tapper and other correspondents as they pressed press secretary Robert Gibbs over the decision today by Pres. Obama not to release detainee abuse photos.

All three cablers were taking it live when the tension was lifted briefly by a series of cell phone rings, first from John Gizzi of Human Events. “Just put it on vibrate, man, we did this before,” said Gibbs. When it rang again, Gibbs stepped off the podium, demanded the phone, and tossed to an aide in the back room. When Gibbs began to answer the question, CBS’ Bill Plante‘s phone rang. But Plante ignored Gibbs’ request to hand it over. Instead, Plante, a 28-year White House veteran, left the room to laughter. About five minutes later Plante returned to his front-row seat.

Click continued to see the video…and for an update on who Plante was talking to.

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> Update: When Plante returned to his seat, he asked, “What did I miss?” Gibbs jokingly responded, “Somebody brief Bill on the new Supreme Court nominee.” Well, as it turns out, TVNewser hears Plante was in fact speaking to a source about the upcoming vacancy on the supreme court.

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