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Biden refuses to take questions after UK’s Boris Johnson opens floor at joint presser

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With a number of pressing national crises unaddressed, President Biden declined to take questions from U.S. reporters Tuesday during an Oval Office meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Adding insult to injury, Johnson took questions from United Kingdom reporters.

The leaders had a brief discussion on several issues, including climate change and transport infrastructure, according to Fox News, before Johnson opened the floor for reporters from his home country to ask questions.

“Would it be okay if we have just a couple of questions, just a couple?” Johnson asked of Biden, with the president replying, “Good luck.”

When U.S. reporters tried to follow suit and ask questions of Biden, White House aides intervened and quickly ordered them out of the room. As the chaos unfolded, the president responded to a shouted question from CBS News reporter Ed O’Keefe who was asking about the crisis exploding on the southern border where thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly from Haiti, have established a shantytown under a bridge in Texas. The president appeared to say, “Violence is unacceptable.”

This likely being furtherance of a false narrative Democrats are pushing involving mounted Border Patrol agents using whips to assault migrants. The misinformation campaign that draws no attention from Big Tech fact-checkers distorts the use of horse reins to claim they are whips.

O’Keefe commented on the incident in a tweet, adding that he “couldn’t decipher” what Biden said.

CBS News reported that after the brush-off, White House Correspondents Association President Steve Portnoy “immediately launched a formal objection,” saying that it was not protocol to have that kind of uneven distribution of media access.

(Video: CBS News)

Earlier in the day, a similar scene played out as Biden participated in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines along with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. White House handlers could not corral reporters out of the room fast enough, with an aide being picked up on video aggressively shooing them away after a photo op. There was almost a sense of desperation as if they feared Biden would start spouting off at any moment.

As was noted on social media, Biden still has not taken any questions from the media about the U.S. drone strike that killed an Afghan family, including seven children, an attack the White House initially claimed killed ISIS-K terrorists. There is also the matter of Americans still in Kabul who were abandoned by this administration.

But the ultimate slight was seeing the White House go to great lengths to avoid questions from the media, while the British prime minister cheerfully took them on.

Even The Washington Post was griping about it, as seen from White House bureau chief Ashley Parker, who tweeted: “Worth noting that Biden ran for office promising to restore democracy after 4 years of Trump. But today it was the British leader, NOT the American one, who spotlighted a key tenet of a flourishing democracy — respect for a free press — by taking questions from his press corps.”

Tom Tillison

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