As President Joe Biden met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday, White House aides abruptly kicked reporters out without allowing any American journalists to ask questions, prompting the editorial component of the U.S. press pool to lodge a complaint.
President Biden responded to questions from two reporters Johnson called on, and Johnson also made remarks after Biden’s responses. But at one point, even as the British leader still seemed to be speaking, a clamor of voices pipes up.
Reporters were shooed out of the room, which did not sit well with American journalists.
Steve Herman of VOA tweeted: “US @WhiteHouse press pool immediately protests Oval Office treatment. (This dispatch from radio pooler and @whca president @stevenportnoy.)”
Herman attached the dispatch, which he said was from White House Correspondents’ Association President Steven Portnoy:
“The entire editorial component of the US pool went immediately into Jen Psaki’s office to register a formal complaint that no American reporters were recognized for questions in the president’s Oval Office, and that wranglers loudly shouted over the president as he seemed to give an answer to Ed O’Keefe’s question about the situation at the Southern Border. Biden’s answer could not be heard over the shouting. Psaki was unaware that the incident had occurred, and suggested that she was not in position to offer an immediate solution. Your pooler requested a press conference. Psaki suggested the president takes questions several times a week,” the dispatch stated.
US @WhiteHouse press pool immediately protests Oval Office treatment. (This dispatch from radio pooler and @whca pr… https://t.co/xHa3CS9Yus
— Steve Herman (@Steve Herman)1632260424.0
CBS News’s Ed O’Keefe tweeted that he could not discern Biden’s response to a question he asked as the media were being ushered out, but later noted that part of Biden’s response had been determined.
“As we were leaving, I asked the president for his reaction to the situation on the southern border. Due to shouting by White House aides, the noise of everyone leaving, and the president wearing his mask, we could not make out his answer,” CBS News’s Ed O’Keefe tweeted. He later tweeted: “UPDATE: We have played back the tape and part of the president’s answer is decipherable. I asked for his response to the situation on the southern border and he says in part, “Violence is not justified.” He is wearing a mask and there is shouting so nothing else is decipherable”
UPDATE: We have played back the tape and part of the president’s answer is decipherable. I asked for his response t… https://t.co/c4LozFFMcI
— Ed O’Keefe (@Ed O’Keefe)1632262377.0
“A chaotic scene in the Oval Office today as Boris Johnson unexpectedly took questions from British reporters, and White House aides shouted over American reporters as we tried to ask Biden questions,” tweeted Andrew Restuccia of the Wall Street Journal.
“UK PM Johnson called on 2 British reporters to ask questions during the Oval meeting today. Biden answered those Qs, but didn’t call on any US reporters. WH aides then began shouting over reporters asking Qs to get press out of the room, preventing any Q&A w/ US press,” CNN’s Jeremy Diamond tweeted.
President Biden hosts Britsh Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House