WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the 42nd day of Joe Biden’s Presidency and critics are calling him out for not yet having held his first solo press conference. Biden has taken questions from reporters at times, such as after making statements, but he is already being compared to his predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, both of whom held their own first solo press conferences far earlier into their respective terms; Obama at 20 days in and Trump at 27 days in.
The Biden Administration has reinstated daily press briefings – after they had become greatly inconsistent under the Trump Administration – with press secretary Jen Psaki, who was asked at a Feb. 22 briefing if there were plans for President Biden to hold a press conference alone anytime soon.
“He will hold a solo press conference, but I don’t have a date for you at this point in time,” Psaki replied.
“This week?” the reporter asked, to which Psaki replied, ““Not this week. No.”
When asked if Biden would get to “pick the inquisitors himself” when a solo press conference eventually takes place, Psaki noted that the President would allow as many reporters to ask questions as possible as long as COVID-19 safety standards can be maintained.
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“Well, typically, any President has a list of people that they’re going to call upon,” she said. “But usually it’s a large number of people who are in the press room, and we certainly hope we’re able to do that in a COVID-safe way.”
Psaki was asked again this Monday for any news about a Biden solo conference, to which she replied,
“Not yet. But we will definitely have one. We will schedule it, and you’ll be the first to know because you’re pivotal participants in that.”
Former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, while being interviewed on Fox News this week, called on Biden to step up and finally hold his first solo press event.
“Where’s Joe? It’s been 41 days, at this point President Trump had had multiple press appearances, press conferences. President Barack Obama had as well,” she said. “Joe Biden needs to step up, we need to hear from him. He needs to engage in the transparency that he promised us, he hasn’t thus far.”