White House spokesman: Rodeo clown not one of Missouri’s ‘finer moments’

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Wednesday said the flap over a rodeo clown who donned a mask of President Obama and mocked the commander in chief was "not one of the finer moments" for the state of Missouri.

Earnest, though, declined to comment on a request by the NAACP for the Secret Service to investigate the incident at the Missouri State Fair last week.

"I haven't heard about the president's reaction or if he had one," Earnest told reporters at Martha's Vineyard, where Obama is vacationing. "I can tell you as a native Missourian, it was certainly not one of the finer moments for our state, and not the way I like to see our state depicted in the news."

According to news accounts, the rodeo clown donned the Obama mask before being chased by bulls around a pen, leading to condemnations from lawmakers, including Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. He was introduced by an announcer who asked the audience if they wanted to see “Obama run down by a bull.” 

"We are better than this," Kinder said in a tweet earlier this week.

The performer has subsequently been permanently banned from performing at the state fair, and officials have mandated sensitivity training for future performers.

The Missouri chapter of the NAACP has asked the Justice Department and the Secret Service to open a federal investigation into the clown, accusing the performer of inciting violence against the president.

“The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our president are serious and warrant a full review by both the Secret Service and the Justice Department," Missouri NAACP President Mary Ratliff said in a statement obtained by Breitbart.com 

"Incidents involving individuals acting out with extreme violent behavior in movie theaters, schools, churches, political appearances, and outdoor events in general speaks volume to the irresponsible behavior of all the parties involved with the incendiary events at the Missouri State Fair,” she added.

Earnest referred questions about possible criminal investigations to the respective departments.