Joe Biden’s answer to a question about the crisis on the Southern border was unclear on Tuesday when his aides shouted down reporters, covering the president’s attempt to respond.
‘Violence is not justified,’ Biden appeared to say but the rest of his response was not decipherable.
White House staff interrupted Boris Johnson as they pushed to get reporters out of the room, shouting over the British prime minister during his Oval Office meeting with Biden.
But his aides yelled ‘thank you’ and ‘let’s go’ to the press in the room, herding them outside as Biden appeared to address the issue. But between the shouting of his aides and the president’s wearing a face mask, it was impossible to make out the majority of what Biden said.
In the Oval Office sit down, Johnson took control of the meeting, calling on British reporters for questions that he and Biden answered. No American reporters were recognized.
Biden had a notecard in hand – as he usually does for meetings – that he referred to during his remarks with Johnson.
After reporters were pulled from the Oval Office, a group of American reporters making up the ‘pool’ – the small group of journalists that follow the president to represent the entire press crops – went into White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s office to file a formal complaint about the situation.
‘The entire editorial component of the US pool went immediately into Jen Psaki’s office to register a formal complaint that no American reporters were recognized for questions in the president’s Oval Office,’ noted CBS radio correspondent Steve Portnoy in his report. Portnoy is also president of the White House Correspondents Association. ‘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.’