(TheConsevativeNews.org) – Press Secretary Jen Psaki clashed with CNN+ host Chris Wallace on Wednesday night when the veteran news anchor grilled the White House official over President Joe Biden’s lack of sit-down press interviews.
Biden has had far fewer drawn-out media appearances than his predecessors. Though Biden often stops to answer reporters’ shouted questions while traveling to and from events, the president has only had one sit-down interview this year so far.
He’s also participated in fewer press conferences during his first year in office, holding just nine joint or solo such events. Donald Trump held 21 and Barack Obama 27 during their first years, according to The American Presidency Project.
‘Why has President Biden been so sheltered from the press?’ Wallace asked Psaki on Wednesday.
Psaki challenged, ‘In what way?’
‘He just did a press conference several weeks ago. He takes questions from the press nearly every day,’ she defended.
Wallace pointed out that Biden has sat down for 28 reporter interviews during the same time span Trump did 95 and Obama even more at 162, but Psaki countered he was ‘leaving out’ the times he’s stopped for impromptu chats with White House reporters.
‘Nearly every day at the White House, he takes questions from the White House press corps,’ she said.
Wallace began, ‘Yeah but Jen –‘
‘Two questions three questions eight questions,’ Psaki continued saying over the CNN+ host. ‘So why is that different?’
Wallace, who spent more than a decade early in his career as a White House correspondent, challenged: ‘I’ll tell you exactly why that’s different, because when you’re standing there, you can take a question. You can answer it, you can slough it off and you can move on.’
‘And oftentimes, he gives a partial answer and walks away. It in no way compares to sitting down with a reporter for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and having — you can’t move away, you can duck it, you’ve got to sit there and answer the question and the follow up. It’s not the same thing,’ he finished.
Psaki asked him to ‘agree to disagree.’