A White House team member warned journalists to not even “think about” asking Biden questions as he started a round table event in Washington this week.
Biden was meeting with energy company CEOs in a push to get his BBB agenda passed, which is now dead in Congress. Reporters starting yelling questions to Joe Biden as he ended his opening comments and staffers starting herding the press corps out. White House journalists say one aide was worried Biden would start accepting questions. The aide warned a journalist, who was lingering within the room.
“Don’t think about it, Matt,” she yelled, according to the other reporters.
Biden’s White House has come under criticism for a lack of transparency during its first year, with staff usually shouting at reporters and Biden himself being much less available than previous presidents. Biden had fewer than half as many media conferences in his first year than any of his five predecessors.
The topic came up in September during Joe Biden’s meeting with U.K. PM Boris Johnson. After the meeting, U.K. journalists were given the ability to ask questions, but White House staff yelled down members of the U.S. media corps. The incident caused a showdown between White House media secretary Jen Psaki and the Correspondents’ Association.
“The whole editorial component of the reporter pool went immediately into Psaki’s office to register a complaint that no reporters were recognized for questions, and that wranglers shouted them down as the president gave an answer to Ed O’Keefe’s question about the problem at the southern border,” WHCA President Steven Portnoy stated.
Biden has had only one formal media conference, going back-and-forth with journalists for almost two hours on Jan. 19.
This comes at a time when Biden’s approval ratings have shrunk down to record lows. Not taking questions is more evidence that Joe Biden does not know what he is doing. He is obviously afraid of a reporter asking a question that he does not know how to answer.