During an interview Wednesday, CNN+ anchor Chris Wallace questioned White House press secretary Jen Psaki about President Biden’s interactions with the press.
“Why has President [Joe] Biden been so sheltered from the press?” Wallace asked.
“In what way? He just did a press conference several weeks ago and he takes questions from the press nearly everyday,” Psaki responded.
Wallace pointed out that in the first year of his presidency, Biden only held two solo press conferences at the White House and five on foreign trips. During that same year, he was seen in 28 interviews with reporters.
Former President Donald Trump attended 95 interviews in the first year of his presidency, while former President Barack Obama was interviewed 162 times.
“By comparison, Jen, that’s sheltered,” Wallace said.
“The statistic you didn’t include there, Chris, is how many times did he take questions from reporters at the White House,” Psaki responded.
“I think it was about double the amount of Trump. Nearly everyday at the White House, he takes questions from the White House press corps. Two questions, three questions, eight questions. But why is that different?” she asked.
“I’ll tell you exactly why that’s different, because when you’re standing there you can take a question, you can answer it, you can sluff it off and you move on,” Wallace said.
“It in no way compares, and oftentimes, he gives a partial answer and walks away. It in no way compares to sitting down with a reporter for 20-30 minutes and having a ‘you can’t move away,’ you can’t duck it,” he added.
Psaki said the way Biden engages with the press “makes sense to him,” since that is how he communicated with reporters during his time in the Senate. She also claimed Biden engages with reporters after events 2-3 times more than his predecessors.