Biden hits 50 days without press conference: ABC News calls out 'striking' difference from Trump
President Biden has not held a formal press conference 50 days into his presidency, drawing criticism from ABC News of the "striking" contrast in transparency with predecessor Donald Trump.
"Halfway into his first 100 days, President Joe Biden has yet to hold a formal, solo news conference, raising questions about accountability with the White House under increasing pressure to explain why," ABC News reported.
"The contrast with former President Donald Trump has been especially striking, especially given Biden's repeated promises to Americans that he'd always be 'straight' and 'transparent.'"
Instead, Biden's interactions with the press have been largely relegated to brief responses to shouted questions after finishing formal remarks. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who holds daily briefings, has insisted that constitutes Biden taking questions, but ABC dismissed it as "often devoid of any meaningful back-and-forth" and lasting "just seconds."
The report also drew attention to aides who yell at reporters to leave when Biden finishes his comments, drawing criticism that Biden appears to need protection from probing questions.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha said Biden, while signing sweeping executive orders and on the verge of executing a massive coronavirus stimulus, was acting like an "absentee president" in not making himself accountable to the media.
His team "has zero confidence that this president can handle questions outside of handpicked reporters," Concha told "America Reports" last week.
While his administration took criticism for rarely holding scheduled press briefings, Trump was known for holding forth with reporters for extended periods, such as on his way to Marine One on the White House lawn. At an event earlier this week, reporters attempted to ask Biden questions, but White House staffers quickly intervened as the president exited.
Psaki said Biden would hold a formal presser by the end of March, but he is already the first president in 100 years not to give a press conference to this point of his administration.
Trump took 28 days to hold a press conference, while President Obama waited 21 days and President George W. Bush took 34 days.
Biden will deliver a primetime address Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of coronavirus shutdowns that rocked the U.S. economy.
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