A reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki during Monday’s press briefing about President Joe Biden taking a shot at American media while sitting next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“As he sat down with Prime Minister Modi last week, the president said the Indian press is better behaved than U.S. press and then advised him to not take questions,” the reporter said during Monday’s press briefing. “Can you explain why the American president was criticizing U.S. reporters in that setting?”
Psaki said that Biden did take questions and added that his comments weren’t “something that anyone wants to hear.” (RELATED: Biden Walks Away As Reporter Shouts ‘Why Do You Continue To Trust The Taliban?’)
“Well, I would note first that he took questions on Friday and he took questions again today,” the press secretary said. “And I think what he said is that they are not always on point. Now I know that isn’t something that anyone wants to hear in here.”
“But what I think he was conveying is – today he might want to talk about COVID vaccines, some of the questions were about that … and some of the questions are not always about the topic he is talking about on that day,” Psaki continued.
Psaki added that Biden wasn’t trying to take “a hard cut at the members of the media.”
The reporter mentioned another incident when Biden was sitting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Oval Office on Tuesday. The U.S. press was shouted down and escorted out of the room by senior White House aides after Johnson took two questions from British reporters.
“Is the president hesitant to take questions when he’s sitting next to a foreign leader in the oval office?” the reporter asked. “Can we expect him to do that in the future?”
Psaki repeated that Biden took questions earlier on Friday and said the president had taken questions “next to a foreign leader many, many times in the past.”
Reporters have also questioned Psaki on why the president has taken so few questions in recent weeks and called for a formal press conference.