Watch: Psaki Has A Melt Down Over Reporter's Question

Written By BlabberBuzz | Sunday, 21 November 2021 05:15

At Thursday's briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki snapped at a reporter who asked if the press should expect a press conference following President Joe Biden's 'three amigos' summit.

"You can ask questions in any format, right? I don't think you need a formal embroidered chair for it," Psaki told CBS News Radio correspondent Steven Portnoy, who serves as the president of the White House Correspondents' Association that pushes for White House access for journalists.

Portnoy had pointed out that Biden had told reporters at a bill signing Thursday morning, 'I'll be happy to answer questions after I meet with all the leaders.'

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However, the White House bucked tradition and didn't schedule a tri-lateral press conference with Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador following their late afternoon meeting.

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 STACEY ABRAMS THINKS THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION IS FOR HERbell_image

Instead, reporters could shout out their questions during 'pool sprays' -when a smaller group of journalists comes in for a portion of a meeting.

Leaders can choose to ignore the press or engage. Earlier in the briefing, Psaki told reporters that the lack of a press conference wasn't 'as scandalous as that in terms of backstory.'

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 KAMALA'S STAFF CONTINUES TO EVAPORATE AS SHE TANKSbell_image

She insisted that there was a 'change of schedule,' as Biden signed three first responder-related bills Thursday morning, which prevented a tri-lateral press conference from being booked after the scheduled 4:45 p.m. meeting with both López Obrador and Trudeau.

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Biden also has a tendency to run late, the meeting hadn't started as 5 p.m. approached.

In his capacity as WHCA president, Portnoy told Psaki: 'We would like a press conference,' in response to her 'embroidered chair' comment. Psaki was interviewed Wednesday for a Politico Women Rule event where she said that Biden's lack of press conferences was more of a problem for the media than the American people.

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 POLL: BIDEN'S ECONOMY IS CAUSING MASSIVE PROBLEMS FOR MANY AMERICANSbell_image

"I think that's more of an issue related to the White House press corps ... and D.C. press, than it is of concern to the American public," she said. Psaki pushed back on the idea that Biden was in any way press-shy. Biden has eschewed formal press conferences for more casual Q&A with reporters when he travels or during events.

When he does hold a press conference, he's made it standard practice to call on a pre-set list of reporters.

"I would say that it's the job of every journalist to push for more access. That's their job. And if we granted access every time a journalist asked for an interview or access we probably wouldn't necessarily be doing our jobs," Psaki stated.

She argued that the debate over press conferences is 'misunderstood' because 'it's really about how any president uses their time or how they engage with the media.'

"But it's just not accurate to suggest that he isn't accessible or doesn't answer questions," she argued.

At a standard press conference, she argued that Biden might only answer 10 to 15 questions, while he answers '20, 30 questions a week,' in the more casual encounters.

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