‘Can You Wait Your Turn?’: Multiple Journalists Press KJP On LA Times Reporter’s Question Being Written On Cheat Sheet

[Screenshot/White House press briefing]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
Font Size:

Several White House reporters asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday why President Joe Biden had a printout at the previous day’s press conference that informed him of a journalist’s question before she asked it.

A photographer captured Biden’s cheat sheet, which included the reporter’s name, Courtney Subramanian, and her prepared question at Wednesday’s joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in the White House rose garden. The sheet also detailed how to pronounce Subramanian’s name and noted that hers would be the first question.

The question Subramanian asked was not the same as the one that appeared on the sheet but was on the same general topic.

Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked the press secretary “why the president needed” the cheat sheet, to which the press secretary responded that the question on the sheet was different from the one asked, and that “specific questions” are not planned in advance.

“It is entirely normal for a president to be briefed on reporters who will be asking questions at a press conference and issues we expect they might ask about. It is not surprising that yesterday, we would anticipate questions that he did receive on the visit with the South Korean president,” Jean-Pierre said. “Let’s not forget, we do these briefings everyday and a lot of the questions that you all tell me, that’s how we brief him as well. We do not have specific questions in advance, that is not something that we do and in fact, I would point out that the question that was asked was different than what was on the card that you all saw.”

Daily Caller White House correspondent Diana Glebova then asked about the process for picking the reporters scheduled to ask a question. The press secretary said the White House reaches out to a number of reporters and tries to pick reporters who have not gotten a question at recent press conferences. (RELATED: LA Times Denies Submitting Question Seen On Biden Reporter’s Cheat Sheet) 

“We are mindful on who we pick and who we communicate out to and how we move forward with [ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Mary Bruce] and Courtney. We thought that is pretty reasonable wanting to, as we have the South Korean president during this press conference, because we also wanted to communicate with the Korean American,” she said.

“Is it your contention, Karine—” Gray Television White House reporter Jon Decker began, asking about the question’s similarity to the one listed on the sheet.

“I’m not taking calls, Jacqui’s not done,” Jean-Pierre interjected. “Your colleague is not done.”

“It is a very reasonable question,” Decker said.

“No, I hear you, but can you wait your turn?” she asked.

“Absolutely,” he responded.

“Thank you, John, I appreciate that, I really do,” the press secretary said as she turned back to Heinrich.