When White House spokesman Josh Earnest was a few minutes late for Friday’s briefing with reporters, an experienced ringer stepped up to the podium to temporarily take his place.
“Hi everyone, good afternoon,” Allison Janney said, addressing the press corps as her West Wing character, C.J. Cregg, while the journalists in the room chuckled. She explained that Earnest was out undergoing a root canal, “but let’s be honest, I’m better at this than he is, anyway.”
After some brief announcements — including that she later would perform “The Jackal” in her office (a nod to a Season 1 episode of the NBC drama) — Earnest arrived, feigning surprise that he’d been usurped.
“You’re standing at the podium, so you might as well use it,” he said, prompting Janney — who currently plays a recovering addict on CBS’ Mom —to “draw attention to the opioid epidemic and to celebrate all of those working to combat substance-abuse disorder.”
She went on to laud the White House’s Champions for Change program honorees, who have worked in substance-abuse prevention, treatment and recovery.
Mom producer Chuck Lorre also was in the back of the room, and you can see him when one of the journos asks Janney, “Who is President Bartlet supporting in the Democratic primary?”
Press PLAY on the video below to hear her answer.