The job of a Press Secretary under the Biden administration is a little bit different than previous administrations. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has a tough job; try to do all the speaking and never let reporters around Biden. The exact opposite was true for former President Trump who spoke daily to the press directly and for periods of time did not have the press secretary give briefings.
Psaki made an admittance about her job title on a CNN podcast published Thursday. In the interview with CNN Senior Political Commentator David Axelrod on his podcast “The Axe Files,” Psaki said Biden taking questions from reporters is “not something we recommend.”
The subject came up because Axelrod asked Psaki about a specific situation that occurred when CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins “inadvertently ran into” Biden and asked him if a minimum wage increase to $15 would be in the coronavirus relief package that was signed into law in March.
Fox News reports:
Axelrod stated that Biden gave the honest answer that he didn’t think the increase would be included in the bill, but him telling that to the reporter must have given Psaki a lot of heartburn and made her ask herself why Biden would be allowed to roll around in the hallways doing impromptu interviews. He then asked Psaki how she managed that.
Psaki laughed off the incident and explained that it happened after she had already left work and Biden was heading back to his residence. She then claimed that Biden takes questions “nearly every day that he’s out in front of the press.”
Psaki’s response proves exactly what we have all known to be true since Joe’s time on the campaign trail: “That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions,'” she continued. “But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”
McEnany On Psaki 'Circling Back' To Reporters: 'I Always Knew Where My Boss Stood'
Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany commented on the current White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s habit of saying she needs to “circle back” to reporters when questioned by comparing it to her own tenure, saying “I always knew where my boss stood.”
“Let’s talk about the job you used to have for a second. You had those big binders in front of you; I understand it. You had answers almost every single time. You knew roughly where they were gonna go. But listen to Jen Psaki’s new go-to line,” Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade said to McEnany, then showing a video of Psaki repeatedly saying she had to “circle back,” to reporters questions. “You can’t anticipate every question, but is that acceptable? You’re like a crossing guard.”
“I’ve said before and I mean it: I wish Jen Psaki all the best,” McEnany answered. “It is a very hard job. But that being said, we took great pains in our administration to do hours and hours and hours of research beforehand, days sometimes, calling (former Secretary of Health and Human Services) Secretary (Alex) Azar sometimes, calling (former Department of Justice spokesperson) Kerri Kupec over at the Justice Department to get answers.”
“And the great thing about being in the Trump White House was I always knew where my boss stood,” McEnany continued. “Unlike other press secretaries that maybe didn’t have walk-in privileges to the Oval, I could walk in at any time. I always knew where he stood. Before every press conference, I would go in with a list of items that I thought the press would ask and go through one by one. I always knew where his head was at, so I didn’t have to do a ton of circling back because President Trump gave a lot of access to me.”
McEnany then commented on President Biden’s absence, noting that he has gone a record 44 days without holding a solo press conference.
“It’s exactly like the campaign. That was his strategy all along,” McEnany said. “Hide in the basement, don’t talk to the American people … That’s what President Trump offered. He gave transparency.
He was always willing to take questions, always willing to go to the podium, always willing to stop on his way to the helicopter. Transparency is what he offered, and Joe Biden vowed transparency. Now he’s set a 100-year record for not going to the podium.”
Biden Refers To His VP as "President Harris"
While giving a speech at the White House, Joe Biden referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as “President Harris” on Thursday.
Biden was discussing the vaccine when he said, “now, when President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that tour injecting people and giving vaccinations said that each shot was like administering a dose of hope,”
“It’s my great honor to serve as your commander-in-chief,” Biden said. “I look forward to hearing your active duty and recommendations of how we will work together to keep the American people safe, meet every challenge in the 21st century. I want to thank you both.”
“And I want to thank the Sec, the former general, I keep calling him general, my my uh, the guy who runs that outfit over there,” he continued. “I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we’ve just talked about and for recommending these two women for promotion. Thank you all. May God bless you all and may God protect our troops.”
President Trump would regularly host long and combative press conferences with reporters and journalists whereas Biden broke a 100 year record without holding a one. It will be interesting to see how they handle it as Psaki has indicated it’s possible Biden will be presented with a list of approved journalists at his first press conference.