White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre defended President Biden’s communications team for providing the president with “cheat sheet” memoirs, though she acknowledged efforts to obtain information from the media to prepare him.
We don’t have preset questions. This is not something we do,” she told reporters at her daily press conference, the day after Biden was photographed holding a reporter’s name “Question 1” note card with information on the topic he was asked about.
“Actually, I would like to point out that the question asked was different than what is on the card,” she said.
Our job is to get to know what you all want to ask us. This is our business here, she said.
The note, which was prepared by aides, was snapped up by photographers, which included instructions on how to respond to questions submitted by reporters in advance.
White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said the White House did not take pre-selected questions when President Biden held a press conference Thursday.
She said, “Our task is to learn about the news of the day, as the subjects are interested in asking about it.”
“It is quite natural for the president to be shown which reporters will be asking questions at the press conference,” she said.
Her comments came after “cheat sheet” photos of Biden drew new attention about how staffers manage his appearances, and she asked Jean-Pierre about how the White House chooses who can question the president.
As it turns out, it came on the day Biden, 80, quizzed question after question from kids about “Take your kid to work today,” and had to be reminded of the last country he visited (Ireland).
“We take this very seriously and want to make sure that we provide the information that works for you,” she said.
Jean-Pierre acknowledged playing outside the press conference and trying to see what they might ask.
We’ve reached out to a number of reporters who we know will be attending the press conference. This is what we did yesterday. And we also try to be really vigilant and who didn’t ask a question and why.
She noted that the LA Times, which was called, has not been called recently, and represents a large country with the largest population of Korean Americans.
Her comments came amid a renewed focus on Biden’s practice of relying on note cards with printed information, going back to his press conferences from the beginning of his presidency, when a handy “cheat sheet” contained a pre-selected list of reporters. He must call.
(He also used one as president-elect before taking office.)
The Los Angeles Times released a statement in response to questions about what happened.
“Our reporter did not submit any pre-Q&A questions with President Biden,” Hillary Manning, vice president of communications, told the Post.
Courtney Subramanian covers the White House for the Los Angeles Times. As such, she is in regular contact with the White House press office to obtain information for her reporting. You have to ask the White House who prepared the document for the president and why they included that question.
The last time Biden caught himself in an awkward long-lens shot came on Wednesday, then held a “two-two” press conference in the Rose Garden — only to get a transcript of an apparently pre-rendered question. Slim note card. This came after he was criticized for failing to hold an official press conference about his trip to Ireland.
In this case, the card displayed not only the name and face of the reporter who called him, but also a transcript of the question he was asked—raising questions about how the White House decides who to call and whether a president is a deny. Content is the price of admission.
This wasn’t the only time Biden aides helped him out to a high-ranking officer.
President Joe Biden has relied on note cards — sometimes captured by photographers using long lenses — since he took office in January 2021
There were questions lingering about Biden’s media practices Thursday, when he planned to surround himself with kids on the South Lawn as part of Take Your Child to Work Day.
Biden himself referred to the “cheat sheets” during the first official press conference of his presidency, in March 2021.
For this full press conference, he held a printed list of reporters who attended the event, with photos of those present and whomever he intended to call surrounded by numbers.
In a previous event, it is detained A note card titled “President” and titled “Infrastructure” with highlights about infrastructure, bridges, and China in the United States being de-checked.
The 80-year-old made his latest slip-up at a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Sok-yul to celebrate 70 years of friendship with the United States. This came days after he announced his presidential campaign, with one of his campaign co-chairs telling DailyMail.com that he would run an “aggressive” campaign that would not be limited to “rose garden strategy”.
The cards, prepared by aides, included a list of senior Biden officials who were attending the ceremony at the White House and potential talking points.
“How do you align your domestic priorities — such as the re-manufacturing of semiconductor manufacturing — with coalition-based foreign policy?” Read the question from Courtney Subramanian, LA Times reporter.
One of the two journalists called was the longtime Washington correspondent; Another reporter demanded to know if the president was too old to run again.
The question Biden asked was more nuanced and detailed than what’s on the card, but it was about the same topic.
The president’s latest gaffe will add to fan criticism that he has rarely been allowed to be questioned by the media since taking office in January 2021.
By contrast, former President Donald Trump has regularly appeared at White House press conferences to answer questions himself. Trump frequently engaged in back-and-forth communications with reporters during his events, including some of the less friendly media outlets he would label “fake news.” But one of his press secretaries at the White House hasn’t given a press conference for a year.
Biden has left supposedly secret notes in full view of the media in the past, and has relied on note cards during at least part of his 36-year term in the Senate, with many lawmakers carrying cards with scheduling information.
He was caught by paparazzi revealing a cheat sheet at the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, last November that asked him when to sit down and take pictures.
It showed a close-up of the sitting president with a list of instructions that read “You will sit at the center” and “You will deliver opening remarks”.
The 79-year-old attended the two-day summit in Bali, Indonesia, along with other world leaders.
Biden was also caught on a similar note in a June 2022 meeting with wind industry executives.
This one has the same format as what was called a “Drop-By” event just steps from the Oval Office.
You enter the Roosevelt Room and greet the participants. You take your seat. Press Enter. You make brief comments, at length that are not apparent in the photo.
AFL-CIO President Liz Schuler asks a question. Note: Liz joins in by default,” the card helpfully states. “You thank the participants. You leave,” he concludes.
Biden opens his remarks during the press conference with the South Korean president on Wednesday afternoon
The two leaders met to celebrate the 70th anniversary of friendship between the United States and South Korea
The 79-year-old was also asked to speak to select attendees, ask them questions and thank them before leaving the room at the June 2022 meeting.
President Biden was asked to erase a yellow mark from his face during a Zoom meeting with state governors after a staffer handed him a note that read, “Sir, there is something on your chin.”
Biden sometimes uses the cards to write down things he intends to say during events
Handwritten slashes could indicate when Biden completed a point he and his aides wanted him to make. Biden, who has a speech impediment, has spent decades learning ways around the problem
The White House has continued the practice even as photographers continue to shoot cards, as an AFP photographer did in August 2022 during a flooding event in Kentucky.
Then earlier that year, Biden was derided for using a printed “cheat sheet” of answers to expected questions when he confronted the media to discuss the Ukraine war.
The notes read: ‘If you’re not advocating regime change, what do you mean? Can you clarify?’ Another read read: “Does this now threaten to sever unity with your NATO allies?”
Biden had already prepared an answer on the printed card: “No. NATO has never been more united.
And in an awkward exchange, an aide asked him to wipe a stain off his face during a phone call with state governors in July 2021.
He uses cue cards regularly, and they’ve been a constant staple on the campaign trail in 2020.
But repeated exposure to his descriptive notes raised concerns about his safety and health.
Republican lawmakers have indicated that Biden’s apparent retreat renders him unfit to serve a second four-year term.