On Sunday, Biden discussed meeting with other world leaders in Rome to enact climate change initiatives. After his talk, he opened the floor to questions but admitted that he was told to start with the Associated Press.
“And now I’m happy to take some questions. And I’m told I should start with AP, Zeke Miller,” Biden said.
Biden has previously alluded to the idea that he had a list of pre-approved reporters to call on back in June following his Geneva visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I’ll take your questions, and as usual, folks, they gave me a list of the people I’m going to call on,” Biden told the press.
The same interaction continued in August when Biden took questions for the first time following the Kabul terror attacks that killed more than a dozen U.S. servicemen.
“Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell from NBC,” Biden said.
This pattern has been noticed by reporters since Biden’s first formal press conference in January where he seemed to call on a pre-selected list of journalists from The Associated Press, The Washington Post, NBC News, Reuters, and Bloomberg News.
When Fox News originally asked about this pattern in January, White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded: “In an effort to make sure we are rotating through reporters in the pool, the president took questions from wire reporters, one print outlet and a few network correspondents today and will look forward to taking additional questions again soon.”
This began what many people viewed as evidence that Biden is not actually in charge of when or where he can take questions from the press. He has frequently garnered criticism from journalists on both political parties for ignoring questions and refusing to respond to ongoing issues.