Members of the White House press pool lodged a complaint with the White House on Tuesday after aides hurried them out of the Oval Office, moments after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden appeared to take questions from American reporters.
Moments after the meeting with Johnson and Biden abruptly ended, it appeared that Johnson was about to ask “are there any questions” when a group of White House aides formed a blockade between the leaders and the journalists.
“Thank you! … Thank you!” one aide shouted as reporters were rushed out of the Oval Office and onto the White House lawn while a confused Johnson and Biden watched the scene unfold.
According to a tweet from White House Correspondents Association President Steve Portnoy, before the scene broke out, “Boris Johnson recognized two British reporters for questions. Joe Biden then signaled it was time for the press to leave, without taking any questions from his own press corps.”
The scene can be viewed on Breaking911’s Twitter account.
According to Mediaite, Portnoy said: “The entire editorial component of the US pool went immediately into [White House press secretary] Jen Psaki’s office to register a formal complaint that no American reporters were recognized for questions in the president’s Oval Office, and that wranglers loudly shouted over the president as he seemed to give an answer to Ed O’Keefe’s question about the situation at the southern border.
”Biden’s answer could not be heard over the shouting.” But Psaki claimed no knowledge of such an event and added that she was in no position to remedy such a situation.
While being ushered out, one reporter said: “That’s absurd. … Two British reporters get questions and we don’t get anything.”
Before the press conference ended, according to The Hill, the two leaders discussed cooperation on Afghanistan and climate change.
“I made clear that climate has to be the core area of action for all of us,” Biden stated.
Johnson responded: “The most important thing today has been your speech, Joe, to [the U.N. General Assembly], where you made a commitment to supporting the world to adapt to climate change, doubling the American commitment. That’s very important to us.”