President Joe Biden gave an address at the White House Tuesday, in which he spoke on the economy and gave a Thanksgiving message before leaving the podium without fielding any questions from the press, which frustrated reporters.
"I want you to know how grateful I am to serve as your president. And I promise you that I'll never stop working to address your family's needs. And together, we're going to face challenges. We're going to face them honestly. And that we'll keep building this economy around hardworking folks who built this country. Happy Thanksgiving, and may God bless you and may God protect our troops," Biden said before informing the press corps he had to leave to help out at a soup kitchen.
Several reporters then yelled questions at the president as he was leaving, with one reporter's question standing out.
"When will you answer questions about your meeting with Xi Jinping and other leaders?" CBS News Radio correspondent Steven Portnoy shouted at Biden as he walked away. "When will you answer our questions, sir?"
It has been more than a week since Biden had a virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but the U.S. president has not commented on what their meetings entailed, as Portnoy noted in a tweet.
But White House press secretary Jen Psaki did answer questions about their meeting last week when she dodged a question about whether Biden had asked Xi to assist in tracking down the origins of the coronavirus.
"I would say the president's push for the Chinese to participate more, provide more transparent data and information … we've never held back on that front," Psaki said at a press briefing last Thursday. "We've argued for it publicly, we've argued for it at every level, and the president did talk in his meeting the importance of transparency, which this is exactly an example of."
Since taking over the presidency, Biden has been routinely criticized for not taking questions following press conferences on pressing issues such as the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, poor job reports, the rise in inflation and the impact Democrats' social spending bill would have on the economy.
Psaki has previously admitted to advising the president not to answer questions from reporters.
"He takes questions nearly every day he's out [with] the press," Psaki told CNN commentator David Axelrod on his podcast back in May.
"A lot of times, we say, 'Don't take questions,'" she continued. "But he's going to do what he wants to do because he's the president of the United States."
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