Psaki admitted that her team sometimes tells Biden not to answer questions because he runs the risk of getting it wrong.
The President takes orders
The claim came after CNN political commentator David Axelrod brought up an incident when reporter Kaitlan Collin questioned the president about whether the provision to raise the minimum wage to $15 would be part of the pandemic relief bill that was signed into law in March.
Axelrod asked the press secretary how she handles scenarios in which Biden takes impromptu questions from reporters, and Psaki responded:
“He takes questions nearly every day he’s out [with] the press (…) That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions,” Psaki said, adding, “But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the President of the United States.”
The White House Press Secretary’s statements also coincide with the distance that Biden has had with journalists. In fact, the president has only given one formal press conference after 65 days of having assumed the presidency.
Former President Trump, for example, took questions after 27 days in office, while Barack Obama held a formal press conference 20 days into his first term.
Biden, who is not press-friendly or camera-savvy, has left evidence that he also arrives prepared with notes to not make mistakes in addition to taking orders from his team.
During his first press conference, photographs showed how Biden consulted notes to help him with his own key policy points and facts and appeared to show numbered images of journalists attending the event.
New photos reveal several cheat sheets used by President Joe Biden during his Thursday press conference — including one with the headshots and names of reporters he planned to call on.https://t.co/G7zlIvQSyM pic.twitter.com/ZeFoiVvz7X
— johnny dollar (@johnnydollar01) March 26, 2021
The president accepted answers only from a list of reporters whose media and names were listed; he took 31 questions from reporters, ignoring reporters from critical outlets like Fox News.
Other Biden incidents with the press
In early March, Biden’s team removed reporters after asking him questions about the border.
The incident occurred when the president visited a hardware store in Washington that benefited from the temporary extension of the Paycheck Protection Program for smaller businesses. When reporters shouted out their questions, the president’s team reacted: “Come on, the press has to leave.”