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White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted on Thursday that the Biden team tells President Joe Biden to avoid answering impromptu questions from reporters.
Psaki made the comments while appearing on CNN’s “The Axe Files with David Axelrod.”
Axelrod was praising the communications team for managing Biden so well that there’s never a surprise from what he says to reporters.
“It seems to me that you guys have done a good job of managing that, because a lot of his interactions are speeches and settings in which you have a pretty good sense going in what he’s going to say,” Axelrod said.
“I think the thing that’s interesting is that he actually takes questions – I mean he took questions, I mean he did a mini press conference yesterday. He takes questions nearly every day he’s out from the press,” Psaki responded.
“That is not something we recommend, in fact, a lot of times we say, ‘Don’t take questions,'” she added.
Psaki immediately followed up to say that the ultimate decision is up to the president.
“You know, but he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States,” she continued.
Psaki went on to say that the White House press corps is never satisfied and they try to avoid distractions from the media and stay on their agenda.
“We’re never going to satisfy the White House press corps and their desires for access, and I think there have been mistakes made in the past of of trying to do that. If you do a press conference, you know, every other week or once a week, that doesn’t really satisfy them, they’re going to push for more, that’s their job,” she said.
“What we’ve tried to do, which has also been maddening I know for the press corps at times, is kind of not get pulled in by distractions,” she added.
Psaki also revealed that she plans to step down next year from the position after only one year.
Here’s another clip of Psaki’s comments:
On a new #AxeFiles, WH @PressSec Jen Psaki speaks candidly about the daily tug-and-pull with the media and the administration’s determination to avoid getting knocked off message. “We’re never going to satisfy the White House press corps.” pic.twitter.com/v6sFyiD5sw
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 6, 2021