‘We look forward to holding a full press conference in the coming weeks before the end of the month,’ Psaki told reporters at the press briefing. ‘And we’re working on setting a final date for that and as soon as we do we will let you all know.’
Psaki was asked why Biden had delayed a full Q&A with journalists, bucking a tradition to do one in the early weeks of an administration, which has been around since the Reagan years.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that President Joe Biden would hold a press conference before the month’s end
President Joe Biden has been answering some questions from reporters at the end of ‘sprays,’ when journalist briefly come into his meetings
Presidents usually take questions from journalists in a press conference format in the early days of their administration. Here President Barack Obama addresses reporters in April 2009
Only a rotating cast of reporters are allowed each day in the White House press briefing room, in order to uphold COVID-19 social distancing protocols
President Donald Trump (right) holds a bilateral press conferencd with British Prime Minister Theresa May (left) just seven days after being sworn-in in January 2017
President Donald Trump holds a press conference in the press briefing room in the early days of the pandemic, before masks were required and even fewer journalists were allowed in
‘Well, first as all of you know the president takes questions several times a week,’ Psaki answered. ‘He took questions actually twice yesterday, which is an opportunity for the people covering the White House to ask him about whatever news is happening on any given day.’
During what’s called a ‘spray,’ when reporters pop into a meeting with Biden for several minutes to take his photo and observe what he’s doing, he’s often answered a question or two, though often strains to hear what’s being asked over the calls from his aides telling journalists to leave the room.
Psaki also pointed to the current crises the president is tackling – the coronavirus pandemic and the economic fallout.
‘So I think the American people would certainly understand if his focus, his energy and his attention has been on ensuring we secure enough vaccines to vaccinate all Americans, which we will do by the end of May and then pushing for a rescue plan that will provide direct checks to almost 160 million Americans,’ the press secretary added.
Asked if Biden was ‘too busy’ too hold a press conference, Psaki wouldn’t latch on to that phrasing.
‘I think he’s answered questions, I believe the count is almost 40 times, so, and I would say his focus, again, is on getting recovery and relief to the American people,’ she answered. ‘And he looks forward to continuing to engage with all of you and to other members of the media who aren’t here today.’
Psaki has held a briefing every weekday since the inauguration unless the president is traveling.
Briefings, however, have been limited to a rotating cast of reporters, in order for the press corps to maintain social distancing protocols.
President Donald Trump was known for holding rollicking press conferences where he would tussle with reporters.
Biden has been more press shy.
For months on the campaign trail, he’d ignore shouted questions.
When he started doing Q&A during the end of the campaign and the transition, one of his aides would give him a list of reporters to choose from, often from friendlier or the mainstream broadcast outlets.