“Is the administration trying to protect the president from our questions? Please answer that question,” the reporter asked.
“Absolutely not. Absolutely not,” Jean-Pierre replied.
Other reporters had already asked why Biden had no former press conferences scheduled, especially on his upcoming trip to Ireland. As the reporter continued his line of questions, Jean-Pierre said that that the president takes “shouted questions” and continued to insist he has not been shielded from reporters.
“I understand, John. I understand. I understand. I have dealt with this question about three times already. I understand. It is the job of you all to ask this question to me. I totally get that. And that’s not a problem at all,” Jean-Pierre said.
“But certainly the president, many times, has stood in front of all of you, has taken questions on his own because he wanted to see what was on your minds,” she added. “He wanted to see what the questions you all were going to ask him, and he wanted to answer them directly. That has happened multiple times, many times, during this administration. And that will certainly continue to be. When it comes to a formal press conference, I don’t have anything to share with you at this time.”
The reporter did not back down and even said that the president’s engagement with the press has been out of step with “the norm” of past administrations.”
“So I’ll say this: It is also unprecedented that a president takes as many shouted questions as this president has, and he has,” Jean-Pierre said.
Some reporters could be heard grumbling in response to Jean-Pierre’s answer.