CBS Reporter Drops an Inconvenient Truth After Psaki Noncommittal on Solo Biden Press Conference

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

We reported Monday on how, true to form, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged and weaved when she was asked during the daily press briefing as to just if – and when – President Biden would be holding his first solo press conference.

For those who missed it, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins committed a rare act of journalism for the network by first noting that, by this point in their presidencies, Presidents Obama and Trump had already held a solo presser. Not mentioned was the fact that, to date, the few pressers Biden has held have mostly been choreographed affairs where either the questions or the reporters were pre-selected.

Psaki said Biden would be holding one, but was noncommittal as to when. Another reporter followed up by inquiring on if Biden would be the one picking the questioners (instead of his handlers doing it for him) when the time came. She answered by saying something-something about needing to make sure it would be conducted in a “COVID-safe way” before moving on.

Her vague response and Biden’s virtual meeting today with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau where not even a virtual joint press conference was held didn’t sit well with CBS News White House reporter Kathryn Watson, who took to the Twitter machine to criticize the administration for Biden’s continued lack of media availability:

After noting Biden had yet to hold a solo presser a month after being sworn in, Watson dropped some inconvenient truths about how contra to Psaki’s concerns about holding one in a “COVID-safe way”, obviously the White House had figured out how to do so since she was holding in-person briefings with a roomful of reporters every day. “There is no good reason” for him to not have had a solo press conference at this point, Watson tweeted:

McClatchy White House correspondent Francesca Chambers also weighed in, pointing out how Biden is “always welcome in the briefing room”:

As I noted yesterday, Biden’s continued reliance on his handlers to pre-select reporters or to speak for him, and on his vice president to make calls to world leaders on his behalf will only continue to raise more questions as to just what’s going on, why early lids are being called, and on just who might really be running this country.

I agree with Watson. It makes no sense at all at this point why Biden still hasn’t done a one on one with the White House press corps. For as much as many of them coddle Biden, there are some – like Watson and Fox News’s Peter Doocy, who won’t hesitate to ask the tough questions of Biden officials.

Perhaps that’s the reason why – or is there some other reason we don’t know about?

Related: Jen Psaki Tries Covering Biden in Glory Over TJ Ducklo Resignation, It Doesn’t Go Well at All