The staffers say they are anxiety-filled when their boss makes public remarks, Politico reported, because they are worried he will take questions from the press or veer off message. “I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason,” a current official said.
Biden’s advisers, according to the Politico report, have pleaded with him to answer fewer reporters’ questions at his events. The president has complied on some occasions, immediately leaving the podium after remarks. However, he was slammed by media and Republicans for taking no questions after his first remarks on the Afghanistan withdrawal after the Taliban took over Kabul last month.
Other times, Biden will reveal his aides are trying to rein him in but still give into it, like after his FEMA remarks the other week saying: “I’m not supposed to take questions, but go ahead.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a podcast interview in spring: “A lot of times, we say, ‘Don’t take questions.’ But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE GUARDIAN
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