President Joe Biden teased reporters at the White House on Friday by telling them he would answer their questions later that afternoon at a “major press conference.”
The only problem was that no press conference was scheduled — and no one in the White House press knew one was scheduled.
In reality, Biden was referring to a sit-down interview scheduled later today with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, which will air in full Friday night at 10 p.m.
While the White House ignored requests for clarification from DailyMail.com and at least two conservative outlets, two “well-known sources” told The New York Times that Biden was “referring to his MSNBC interview tonight,” reporter Katie Rogers tweeted.
After speaking about job numbers and the debt ceiling stalemate at an Investing in America cabinet meeting, Biden added: “I’m giving a big press conference this afternoon, so I love you all, but I’d like to ask you to leave . so we can get down to business.”
President Joe Biden teased journalists at the White House on Friday by telling them he would answer their questions later that afternoon at a “major press conference”
He was referring to an MSNBC interview scheduled for Friday after he and Vice President Kamala Harris (right) went to Taqueria Habaneros to pick up some Cinco de Mayo food
“I’d like to talk to you about that, but not now,” he replied as reporters shouted questions his way.
In response to a question about artificial intelligence, he noted “there are dangers.”
“We get a chance to talk about all those things,” Biden said, dismissing the pool of reporters.
After the meeting, he and Vice President Kamala Harris went on a surprise taco run to mark Cinco de Mayo.
Meanwhile, conservatives on Twitter mocked Biden for mixing up an interview and a press conference, as he was pressured for giving both fewer interviews and press conferences than his predecessors.
“The White House is trying to reverse this,” said Ronna Romney McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee. “Biden’s last solo press conference was 172 days ago.”
Ruhle’s interview with Biden Friday was his first one-on-one with a television reporter since speaking to PBS Newshour in February and the first since announcing his 2024 campaign.
Conservatives on Twitter mocked Biden for mixing up an interview and a press conference. “The White House is already working hard to reverse this,” said Ronna Romney McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee.
MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle will be the first television journalist to have a one-on-one interview with Biden since February. It is his first since announcing his re-election in 2024
It is scheduled at a time when many Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo or go to bed.
A White House official told DailyMail.com that Ruhle’s sit-down was “not a campaign interview.”
Instead, it had to do with the Investing in America Cabinet meeting, which is why it airs Friday night. The official added that parts of the interview will air earlier on Friday and over the weekend.
The network said Biden’s conversation with Ruhle would be “comprehensive.”
They will discuss “the government’s infrastructure agenda, the 2024 campaign and recently announced reelection bid, the forming GOP field, the looming debt ceiling crisis and more,” according to a press release from the network.
The 80-year-old Biden made his re-election official last Tuesday by releasing a video.
He hasn’t hit the campaign trail since then – spending most of this week out of the public eye.
Biden (right) held a bilateral press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) last week, where leaders answer questions from two elected journalists from each country
The president and first lady hosted a state dinner for South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol last Wednesday — where Biden did participate in a traditional bilateral press conference, where leaders answer questions from two elected journalists from each country.
On Saturday night, Biden attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he was pressured by White House Correspondents’ Association president Tamara Keith to be more accessible to reporters.
“Every president privately and sometimes publicly slows down his reporting. And yet they invite us to come in and answer our questions,” Keith said. “Although, sir, maybe not as much as we’d like,” she said, turning to Biden, who was sitting nearby on the podium.
Two weeks ago, The New York Times cited Biden’s press embarrassment a “deliberate strategy” noting that in the 100 years since President Calvin Coolidge took office, only Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan held as few press conferences as Biden.
He has yet to do a sit-down interview with an American newspaper.
In total, he conducted 54 interviews before meeting Ruhle on Friday.
By comparison, former President Donald Trump conducted 202 interviews during his first two years in office, while former President Barack Obama conducted 275 interviews, according to The Times.
When asked on Wednesday what the president was up to since he hadn’t been seen in nearly 48 hours, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said “he’s met with — having internal meetings in the Oval Office ‘.
“I met with him earlier today with his senior advisers, senior staff, to talk about the issues that matter to the American people,” she told reporters.
‘It’s not uncommon. This is something he does every day. And like you said, you’ll see him later tonight. Press will be available for the toast the president is about to make,” she said, referring to a Wednesday night dinner hosted by the White House.
“It’s going to be, as you know, an open press available at the top. And then you get to see the president,’ Jean-Pierre said.