Jen Psaki Admits Biden Taking Impromptu Reporter Questions Is ‘Not Something We Recommend’
In a recently published CNN podcast, White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted that Biden taking questions from reports on the fly is “is not something we recommend.”
The subject came up when CNN Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod asked Psaki about a run in Biden had with friendly CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins, who has been known to congratulate herself for her journalistic skills in the past. With no hint of irony, Axelrod asked Psaki how Biden is able to tolerate such questioning, to which she said Biden takes questions “nearly every day that he’s out in front of the press.”
Psaki went on to explain “That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions,'” she continued. “But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.
According to Psaki, the reasoning behind why Biden has largely refused to do consistent press conferences was due to external distractions. These included Congressional Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, and Liz Cheney. How the existence of these people or their affairs prevents Joe Biden from being more transparent was not adequately explained. Psaki added that Biden is focusing his time more on issues the American people care about such as the coronavirus pandemic as part of the reasoning for the lack of transparency.
A video of the exchange between Psaki and Axelrod can be found here.
Of course, it does not come as a surprise to many that Biden has been advised by others to not take questions given present and past behaviors of the current adminstration.
Biden held his first solo press conference on March 25th, 65 days after the start of his term. This set a record for the longest time a president has gone without a press conference since former President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. He has also been known to repeatedly leave announcements, speeches, and other briefings without taking questions from reporters.