President Joe Biden has repeatedly implied that his handlers set the rules and determine when and where he’s allowed to take questions from the press, leading observers to ponder who is actually calling the shots behind the scenes.
The trend began with Biden’s first formal White House press conference as president in January. Following his remarks about his “Made in America” manufacturing initiative, a member of Biden’s staff was heard calling on specific reporters to ask their questions to the president, something that was similarly done during the 2020 presidential election and the transition period. However, the president has since escalated the practice and Biden has repeatedly suggested he’s not in the driver’s seat when it comes to handling the press.
“I’m not supposed to take any questions”
Biden declared Sunday he wasn’t “supposed to take any questions” during a visit to the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA headquarters as Hurricane Ida slammed Louisiana.
“I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead,” Biden said to a reporter before quickly changing his mind when he was asked about Afghanistan.
“I’m not gonna answer Afghanistan now,” he said before turning his back to the press and walking away.