That ‘Joe Biden Scraps Press Conference’ Story Just Got a Whole Lot Worse

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

We reported Wednesday on the embarrassing story of how President Joe Biden’s handlers had scrapped a so-called “Three Amigos” press conference that had been scheduled to take place today between him, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador after meetings in Washington, D.C.

When asked by a reporter yesterday why the presser, which has been a tradition between the three countries going back several years, was canceled, no good reason was given by White House deputy press secretary Chris Meagher. But Justin Sink, the Bloomberg News reporter who brought up the issue, in essence, answered his own question with his follow-up (bolded emphasis added by me):

“I mean, I would — I guess I would just press for having a press conference. And I guess I would wonder, if Jen said that this was going to happen, if there’s longstanding precedent of this happening, and the most recent data point is yesterday where you guys had to clean up not only this Olympic comment but his comment on the timing for the Fed and his Taiwan comment, is the worry that you don’t want the President taking questions? And if not, I think the best way to satisfy that would be to have the President out there tomorrow.”

In other words, in the span of 24 hours on Tuesday, Biden made three separate and distinct blunders that his staffers had to scramble to clean up after the fact. As a result, the traditional, scheduled Thursday presser with world leaders was canceled, presumably to avoid repeat performances.

In response, Meagher twice emphasized with Sink that though Biden wouldn’t be holding that formal presser that Jen Psaki originally told everyone last week would take place today that Biden would instead be taking part in “pool sprays,” which as we’ve seen in the past often consist of Biden pretending not to hear a randomly shouted question from a reporter as he walks out of the room guided by a handler.

Unfortunately, the update to this story just makes it all so much worse. CBS News White House reporter Kathryn Watson, who has criticized the White House in the past over accessibility issues involving Biden, noted on her Twitter feed this morning that unlike Biden, Trudeau would be holding a presser later this afternoon:

And in a report she filed, Watson noted that Biden bailing on the scheduled presser would mean he would get to avoid some potentially uncomfortable questions about the border crisis and his handling of it:

Without a press conference Thursday, Mr. Biden will not be forced to answer questions about his decision to continue with Title 42, a controversial public health policy used at the Mexican border to rapidly expel migrants based on concerns about COVID-19. Mr. Biden has been roundly criticized by progressives and immigration advocates for continuing to rely on it to try to keep the numbers at the border down. A U.S. District Court judge in Texas has also determined the Biden administration improperly ended the “Remain in Mexico Policy.”

I originally called the cancelation of the presser “pathetic” yesterday but I think “utterly shameful” is the more appropriate way to describe it now seeing that another world leader who is visiting will be doing what Biden should be in taking questions from the press in a formal setting regarding what was discussed in his meeting with POTUS.

We should not be finding out what happened during a White House-hosted event with leaders from other countries from those leaders. We should be able to find out directly from the White House, specifically the President of the United States himself.

This is reminiscent of the cringe-inducing moment from a public appearance Biden made at the White House with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in September where Johnson actually took questions from UK reporters and Biden’s handlers proceeded to cut Johnson off so the American press wouldn’t get the idea they could ask Biden some questions, too. When asked about the awkward moment later during a press briefing, Psaki actually had the nerve to blame Johnson and his staff for not “alerting” the White House that that’s what he was going to do.

And in a similar incident a few days later, Biden actually urged India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to take questions from the American press because, in Biden’s words, the Indian press were “much better behaved” and the American press “won’t ask any questions on point.”

Have I mentioned that none of this is normal? If not, let me do so now. None of this is normal.

As I said yesterday, we are at a time when this country especially needs a confident leader who can at the very least give off the appearance of being coherent, capable, and in control of his own thoughts when he appears before the cameras. But Biden just can’t do it, and the repeated intervention from his handlers to rescue him just underscores the point.

Unfortunately, we’re stuck with the Brandon administration for at least the next three years, assuming he doesn’t step aside and let Kamala take the reins which, sadly, would actually make matters much worse. Thank God the 2022 midterms aren’t as far off, because it’s looking like that lovely Virginia red wave has a good chance of expanding quite a bit (we hope).

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