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Biden ‘jokes’ with elementary students about how he tries to ‘avoid’ answering media questions

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President Joe Biden quipped to elementary school students he visited on Monday that he “sometimes” tries to avoid answering questions posed to him by the media.

Biden was visiting East End Elementary School in New Jersey and pointed to assembled reporters at the back of the classroom as he made his comment.

“As president, see all these people here? They’re with you all the time. They get to ask you all kinds of questions, and you try to figure out how you’re gonna avoid answering them sometimes,” Biden said as he chuckled, as noted in video clips posted to social media.

Biden has been alternately criticized and mocked for his interactions with the press since before taking office.

In October shortly after the New York Post reported on some damning allegations involving his son Hunter, Biden snapped at a CBS News reporter, Bo Erickson, who asked him about them.

“Mr. Biden, what is your response to the New York Post story about your son, sir?” Erickson asked.

“I know you’d ask it,” Biden fired back. “I have no response, it’s another smear campaign, right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.”

In December last year, then-President-elect Biden’s campaign was ripped by media outlets for doing things like disabling chat functions during Zoom press conferences amid the still escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Biden transition team appears to have disabled the public chat function on its transition zoom calls, a place where I and others had been routinely complaining to them to take more questions,” Politico’s incoming White House editor Sam Stein posted on Twitter.

“Hey guys, there are tons of folks looking to ask questions and since this is being done once a week, could we PLEASE go longer or at least hold more frequent briefings,” Stein wrote in the Zoom chat function during a Dec. 18 briefing.

Biden has also raised eyebrows when, on a number of occasions, he appeared to be calling on reporters based on a “list” he had been given by White House staff.

And in August, Biden told reporters as he visited FEMA headquarters following Hurricane Ida, he told a Bloomberg reporter, “I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead.” But when senior White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs began her question regarding the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, he quickly cut her off.

“I’m not gonna answer on Afghanistan,” he said.

Earlier, following the deadly suicide attack in Kabul that left 11 Marines, two U.S. Army soldiers, and a Navy corpsman dead, Biden gave an address to the nation in which he pledged to retaliate against the responsible party, said to be ISIS-K, an Islamic extremist group that is not aligned with the Taliban. After finishing the speech, he said he was “instructed” to call on certain media outlets.

“Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell of NBC,” he said.

Jon Dougherty

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