President Biden bizarrely told reporters that he would “get in trouble with staff” if he didn’t call from the pre-approved list provided to him or if he took one too many questions during a news conference following the end of the three-day G-7 summit in Britain on Sunday.
“I’m sorry, I’m going to get in trouble with staff if I don’t do this the right way,” Biden said before calling on Bloomberg’s reporter Jennifer Jacobs to ask the second question.
Before kicking off the questions portion, Biden informed the traveling press corp on who and how they would be called on, looking on the pre-selected list to call on the AP reporter first.
“Now, why don’t I take some of your questions? And I’m told, Jonathan, I’m supposed to talk — recognize you first,” Biden said.
Following the press conference’s conclusion, Biden was attempting to exit the stage when a reporter shouted that he wanted to ask about his relationship with European allies.
“I’m going to get in trouble with my staff. Yeah, go ahead. But pretend that I didn’t answer you,” Biden told the reporter while chuckling.
“You have often said repeatedly that America is back. At the same time, you’ve kept in place some Trump Era steel and aluminum sanctions. And I wanted to ask you when you’re having these conversations with European Allies who are very concerned about these sanctions, how do you justify that? And what are your plans,” the reporter asked Biden.
“A hundred and twenty days. Give me a break. Need time,” Biden responded before walking off.
This is not the first time Biden has revealed to reporters just how carefully his handlers try to control the number of questions the president is allowed to take when he does so following a news conference. Last month, Biden was in a talkative mood following remarks about the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive where he took questions regarding the Colonial pipeline cyberattack and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“You guys are bad. I’m not supposed to be answering all these questions,” Biden said on May 13. “I’m supposed to leave, but I can’t resist your questions.”
The strange exchange occurred just days after White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted that she and her White House team doesn’t like it when Biden takes questions outside the formal setting of a White House press conference.
“That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions,'” Psaki made the admission during a podcast interview “The Axe Files” with host CNN Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod in early May. “But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”
While Biden has taken a few impromptu questions from the media after giving prepared remarks, he has, however, only held one formal solo press conference on the 64th day since taking office back in late March. The unprecedented delay marks the longest any president has ever gone without a news conference in over 100 years. During his 62 minutes presser, Biden fielded only 10 questions, using a cue card that featured 25 reporters’ names, headshots, and outlets, with the ones that were called were preselected and were all from liberal mainstream media as he snubbed Fox News.