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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer faced more questions Tuesday afternoon about the reported death of Anwar al-Awlaki’s eight-year-old daughter than the Obama administration faced in the five years after it droned the radical cleric’s son.

The young al-Awlaki girl, Nawar, was killed Sunday by U.S. forces during a raid in Yemen, NBC News reported. A member of the vaunted Seal Team 6 was also killed in the clandestine operation, according to senior administration officials.

Like her father, who was killed by a drone strike on Sept. 30, 2011, and her brother, Abdulrahman, Nawar was born in the United States.

But the American press seems much more interested in the circumstances surrounding her death than it did about the death of her brother, who was also killed by a drone strike in 2011.

On Tuesday, Time magazine’s Zeke Miller asked Spicer if he could, “confirm that the 8-year-old daughter of al-Awlaki was killed in that strike. And if you can address the killing of an American citizen.”

Later at the same White House briefing, MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson asked, “The president has previously indicated that he would encourage the targeting of the families of terror suspects. Is that still his current position?”

Yet another reporter said that same afternoon, “Hallie’s question was about civilians that are being targeted by the administration in anti-terror raids. And Zeke’s question was about al-Awlakis’ daughter.”

“Is the president willing to kill and target American citizens, even minors, just because they’re family members of terrorist?” the reporter asked.

The push for answers Tuesday stands in sharp contrast to how White House reporters responded in 2011 to the death of al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old.

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On the day Abdulrahman was killed by a U.S. drone, there was no formal White House briefing. Instead, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gaggled with reporters en route to Detroit, Mich., during a three-day bus tour with President Obama.

No one asked Carney about the teenage al-Awlaki’s death.

There were no White House press briefings during the Oct. 15-16 weekend.

On Oct. 17, 2011, Carney gaggled with reporters again during the president’s bus tour. No one in the pool asked the Obama spokesman that day about the droning.

There were press gaggles again on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19, and no one asked Carney about the droning at either one of those events (though one reporter found it worth asking at one of those meetings whether Obama was “enjoying the bus tour”).

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On Oct. 20, the White House held its first formal press briefing since the drone strike that killed Abdulrahman. No one asked about it.

The closest that the White House came to commenting on the issue that year was when former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was cornered at a campaign event by We Are Change activists. They asked Gibbs how the Obama administration could justify droning a 16-year-old American citizen.

Gibbs, who served at that time as a spokesman for the Obama re-election campaign, responded, “I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children.”

“I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business,” he added.

It wasn’t until Feb. 5, 2013, one year and three months after Abdulrahman’s death, that someone in the White House press corps asked the administration’s spokesman about the drone strike, according to a search of past White House press briefing transcripts.

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked: “Well, what about … the drone strike that killed the 16-year-old son of Awlaki. Does he meet that definition of a senior operational leader as outlined in the white paper?”

The issue of the elder al-Awlaki’s death, which took place on Sept. 30, 2011, has come up before at White House press briefings. The issue of the extrajudicial killing of American-born individuals has also come up at these briefings.

To be clear, the White House press corps has also raised the issue of Abdulrahman’s death. It just took a while for them to get there, and White House reporters certainly didn’t move with the speed and urgency that Spicer saw Tuesday.

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