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Allison Janney Reprises “West Wing” Character During Surprise White House Press Briefing Appearance

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Alex Wong/Getty ImagesIt’s been quite a while since The West Wing was on TV, but one of its stars showed up in character at a White House press briefing on Friday.

Allison Janney, who played White House press secretary C.J. Cregg for seven seasons on The West Wing, surprised reporters by popping up in the White House press briefing room.  When asked where the actual press secretary, Josh Earnest, was, Janney joked, “Josh is out today.  I believe it’s a root canal.”  Reporters laughed, because Janney was referencing a specific episode of The West Wing where her character had a root canal.

“Yeah, he has a root canal, but let’s be honest I’m better at this than he is anyway,” she cracked.

In all seriousness, Janney was there because her character on her current show, Mom, is a recovering addict.  She paid tribute to the White House Champions of Change, a group involved in substance abuse issues, and she also spoke about the general opiod epidemic in the U.S.  

“This is a disease that can touch anybody and all of us can help reduce drug abuse through evidenced-based treatment, prevention and recovery,” she said.

As Cregg, Janney took one question: who is President Bartlet — the character played by Martin Sheen in The West Wing — supporting in the Democratic primary?  She snapped, “I think you know the answer to that question.”

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