President Biden declined to answer any questions from news reporters in the Oval Office yesterday while holding a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The pair had a brief conversation which discussed climate change, transport infrastructure as well as lifting the ban on British beef. At the end of their conversation Johnson asked, “Would it be okay if we have just a couple of questions, just a couple?”, looking over to Biden, who replied, “Good luck.”
A reporter from the UK then pressed the president on whether the UK would be at “the back of the queue” for a post-Brexit trade deal, as former President Obama said on a state visit to the UK in 2016 which took heavy criticism from Brits, to which the president did not answer.
The UK leader then called on reporters from his own press pool to which he answered several questions, to which Biden sat and watched on. White House Staff interrupted Johnson mid-sentence to rush all reporters out of the Oval Office, to the angry of the reporters themselves.
The president has come under fire for consistently implying that he is not in charge of when and where he is able to take questions from news reporters. This is something that has never been seen before under any previous administration or president.
Biden’s refusal to take questions came after he addressed the UN General Assembly, in which he called for the world to come together to tackle the many issues facing the world in the coming years, such as climate change, hunger and terrorism. He also said it is vital that the world works together to defeat Covid-19 and bring an end to the pandemic.
Democrats and news media alike both criticized former President Trump for not taking any media questions at appearances during his four years in office. Let’s see if they begin holding Joe Biden and his administration to the same standards.