Monday, July 4

“Biden is going to do what he wants because he is the president” and the border matters less than the pandemic and the economy: White House spokeswoman

Jen Psaki, White House spokeswoman.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

“It is not something we recommend,” admitted press secretary Jen Psaki yesterday, in relation to President Joe Biden answering questions from journalists outside the formal setting of a press conference at the White House.

Biden “Answers questions almost every day he goes out [con] the press, ”Psaki told David Axelrod, former member of the Barack Obama campaign and commentator for CNN, in the last episode of his podcast “The Ax Files”.

“Many times we say to him: ‘Don’t answer questions’”, revealed Psaki. “But he is going to do what he wants because he is the president of the United States.”

“The first time I traveled with him, he answered questions three times that day, and I thought: ‘Are they going to fire me when I get back?’ ”, recalled Psaki later in the show. “So he does that, and he likes to do that. I mean, the thing is that he likes the press corps and he likes that exchange and that commitment ”.

Axelrod had previously praised Psaki and his White House team for what he described as “a good job managing” the 46th president. “His strength is that he says what he thinks, and his weakness is that he says what he thinks, and sometimes that doesn’t help”, said the analyst about Biden.

He also recalled reading a report about the president clashing with the reporter from CNN Kaitlin Collins and telling him that a minimum wage of $ 15 was unlikely to be included in the $ 1.9 billion American Rescue Plan approved by Congress in March.

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Biden “He was right, but he must have provoked you a lot of heartburn and ask yourself: ‘Why do we allow him to walk down the aisles doing impromptu interviews? ‘”, dijo Axelrod a Psaki.

During her response, Psaki said that she and her staff had acknowledged that “We are never going to satisfy the White House Press Corps and their desires for access, and I think mistakes have been made in the past when trying to do that. “

“What we have tried to do in general… is really think about what matters to the public ”, added. “The public is concerned about the pandemic, the economy; you know, we are often asked, ‘Why isn’t (Biden) going to the border?’ An important issue, we are focused on that. What percentage of the public is concentrated on the border? A much smaller percentage than that concentrated in the pandemic and the economy. So that It can be maddening, but that’s what we’re trying to do. “

His statements contrast with a recent April survey by the Pew Research Center, where for the majority consulted immigration had displaced the coronavirus as the main issue of national concern, amid high approval of the presidential discharge.

While Biden has had numerous informal encounters with the media, has only held a formal press conference, which took place on March 25. That day, some photos revealed that the president had used several sheets with prepared annotations, and also looked somewhat clueless.

Psaki, who has two children with her husband Greg Mecher, also told Axelrod that he hopes to leave his position as spokesperson sometime in 2022, to dedicate himself to his family. “I have young children and I don’t want to spend time without them,” he quoted New York Post.

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