You're right, he could have responded to the questions that way, but I don't recall anytime when he's ever pulled punches. And as much as I like to make him out to be a deity, the fact is he's just a human being and he has every right to feel frustrated with the negotiating process, even though Sandy and friends also have every right to negotiate the way they believe best represents their interests.
Also, let's not make it sound like RA held a press conference at the Christmas party. The media stuck mics in his face, asked him questions, and he answered them.
If Sandy and friends didn't like the narrative, perhaps they should have taken a different tact in the negotiating process.
What's fair is fair.