On Tuesday, the White House was in a chaotic scene as its aides interfered with the attempts of reporters to ask Biden some questions. This happened during Biden’s meeting with Boris Johnson at the Oval Office.
White House aides blocked questions from American reporters
The U.K. Prime Minister and U.S. President Biden met at the White House on Tuesday to talk about various issues. During the meeting, the U.K. Prime Minister took several questions from reporters.
However, when Biden was asked questions, his aides quickly escorted the media out of the room with Johnson and Biden. Ed O’Keefe of CBS described what happened in the White House in a thread on Twitter.
IN THE OVAL OFFICE… @POTUS Biden and British PM @BorisJohnson meet to discuss pandemic, trade and other issues. Johnson took 3 questions. White House aides shouted down U.S. attempts to ask questions. I asked Biden about southern border and we couldn’t decipher what he said. pic.twitter.com/A86kgdfsuc
— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) September 21, 2021
According to O’Keefe, the two leaders met at the White House to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic and trade, as well as other issues. During the meeting, the British Prime Minister answered three questions from the reporters.
However, when it was Biden’s turn, White House staffers shouted down the attempts made by reporters to ask the U.S. president questions. The CBS reporter noted that he asked the president questions related to the southern border.
However, because of how the White House aides were shouting at reporters, noise of people leaving the office, and Biden wearing a mask, they could not even decipher his answer.
On the other hand, several other reporters voiced their complaints and called out the White House aides for their behavior. Seung Min Kim of the Washington Post described what happened as “not good”.
Andrew Restuccia, a reporter of the Wall Street Journal, likewise called the scene at the Oval Office “chaotic.” He noted the Johnson answered questions posed by the British reporters, while White House aides were shouting at American reporters as they tried to question the U.S. president.
The actions of the aides displayed an undesirable absence of accountability
Pippa Crerar, the editor of the Daily Mirror, echoed the same sentiments, stating the actions of Biden’s aides showed an undesirable absence of accountability. She added the staffers of the administration might want to know that even the British press thought the shouting of the White House aides was completely out of order.
White House colleagues might be interested to know the British press thought aides shouting was totally out of order. An unwelcome lack of accountability… https://t.co/HZMBFUCgkA
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) September 21, 2021
It was then reported that shortly after what happened, the press filed a formal complaint with White House Press secretary Jen Psaki. The complaint arrived as reporters protested about the treatment they received in the Oval Office.
The statement from the press pool reads the U.S. press pool wants to register a formal complaint, noting that not a single American reporter was recognized for questions in the Oval Office.
They added that the White House aides “loudly shouted” over Biden as he seemed to answer the questions asked by O’Keefe in relation to the situation at the border. The statement continued, complaining the answer from the president could not even be heard over the shouting of White House aides.