White House press secretary Jen Psaki finally admitted on Thursday that her and her team do not recommend President Joe Biden – leader of the free world – take impromptu questions from reporters.
Psaki confirmed what many suspected in a CNN podcast with Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod which was published Thursday.
She claimed that even she, at times, tells Biden not to take questions from reporters.
Axelrod began praising the communications team for hiding Biden so well that there’s never a surprise from what he says to reporters. “It seems to me that you guys have done a good job of managing that, because a lot of his interactions are speeches and settings in which you have a pretty good sense going in what he’s going to say,” Axelrod said.
The two then continued discussing the subject when Axelrod asked Psaki about a particular instance when Biden inadvertently ran into CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins at the White House, who proceeded to ask the president if a minimum wage increase to $15 would be included in the coronavirus relief package that was signed into law in March.
Axelrod stated that Biden gave the honest answer that he didn’t think the increase would be included in the bill, but him telling that to the reporter must have given Psaki a lot of heartburn and made her ask herself why Biden would be allowed to roll around in the hallways doing impromptu interviews.
Psaki laughed off the incident, and explained that it happened after she had already left work and Biden was heading back to his residence. She then claimed that Biden takes questions “nearly every day that he’s out in front of the press.”
“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.”
Psaki then claimed the administration has kept from being distracted by avoiding having Biden do more consistent press conferences in which he would have to answer questions about certain topics.
She gave examples of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, impeachment, and Rep. Liz Cheney. She added that they wanted to focus his time on addressing subjects that they claim the American people care more about, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.
Biden waited until March 25, the 65th day of his term, to hold his first solo press conference.
Even then the decision to do so was due to extremely heavy criticism, even from the liberal media, over his refusal to hold one. Biden’s 65 day wait marked the longest a president had gone without a news conference after taking office since former President Calvin Coolidge back in the 1920s.
Biden has also been known to consistently leave announcements, speeches and other events without answering questions from reporters, according to the New York Post.
Psaki during the interview also mentioned she was already fantasizing about leaving her post as White House Press Secretary.
“I think it’s going to be time for somebody else to have this job, in a year from now or about a year from now,” she said in the podcast interview.
She said when she first spoke with Biden’s team about taking the press secretary job, she agreed to do it for roughly a year.
Author: Charles Beckinwright