(CNSNews.com) – President Biden did not take questions during his bilateral meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Friday despite the White House telling reporters that they would have the opportunity to ask him questions.
During a White House press briefing on Thursday, a reporter asked, “You laid out a very detailed schedule for the president tomorrow with the Prime Minister of Ireland, but it did not include a two-and-two press conference. Can you say why not and whether that might be added to the schedule tomorrow? This is kind of becoming a pattern with a lot of the world leaders who are coming to the White House.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that it’s up to the world leaders who visit with Biden as to whether there is a joint press conference.
JEAN-PIERRE: I brought it up many times, and I gave an explanation. These are diplomatic conversations that happen with the — with — with the countries that are visiting, and it is something that is decided in that way, but there will no — there will not be a two-plus-two tomorrow, as you just noted, but, again, this is in coordination with — with the country that come to visit here at the White House.
You’re going to have an opportunity, or your colleagues will have an opportunity to ask questions during the — the pool spray of the Oval — at the Oval that — that happen every time a — a — a head of state visits. So that is an opportunity to be able to pose a question to the president or — or the head of state that is visiting the White House at — on that day, but, again, this is coordinated.
REPORTER: Karine, he never answers questions during those pool sprays.
JEAN-PIERRE: That’s not true. He has — he’s answered.
This prompted several other reporters in the briefing room to express their frustrations that the president “very seldom” answers questions and that reporters get “shouted at,” “shoved out,” “yelled at” and told “‘Press, thank you! Thank you!.’”
When asked whether she would commit to having Biden answer a question on Friday, the press secretary said, “I hear you guys. Look, the two-plus-two is something that is done in coordination with the country that is visiting. That is not something that is unilaterally decided. That is something that is in discussion with the other country.
“I was asked about the two-plus-two. I was also — I also was adding that there is an opportunity where press will be in the room with the two leaders. I cannot speak to if — who’s going to take questions or who’s not going to take questions," Jean-Pierre said.
"As you know, this is a president that takes shouted questions often, but the two-plus-two is not a unilateral decision. It is a decision that happens with the visiting country in coordination with them," she added.