(CNSNews.com) – White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre doubled down on her assertion that President Biden has taken an “unprecedented” amount of questions from reporters, saying Tuesday that he has “answered over 320 questions.”
The issue came up on Monday when reporters at the White House asked why the president wasn’t planning to hold a formal press conference during his trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland this week.
Jean-Pierre said at that time that it was “unprecedented that a president takes as many shouted questions as this president has.”
Reporters on board Air Force One revisited the issue during a gaggle with Jean-Pierre and NSC spokesman John Kirby.
This time the press secretary said she could quantify the number of questions that Biden has taken, adding that it’s “more than President Trump and Obama combined, or President Obama and George W. Bush.”
“And here you go. To your question, he has answered over 320 questions, and that’s not even including more — more formal press conference and interviews,” Jean-Pierre said.
REPORTER: Karine, any chance you guys have reconsidered the decision not to have a press conference while you’re in Ireland?
JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, I know and — and I appreciate the question. I know you guys asked —
REPORTER: I’m thinking “no.”
JEAN-PIERRE: So a couple of things. Look, as you know, the president regularly — and takes questions from the press informally — informally as well at different locations and different formats.
Right before he got on Air Force One, he took about five very newsy questions for all of you, which I think was very important for all of you, and it’s also for the American people to — you know, to — to hear from him directly on.
So, the informal and informative Q&A that the President Biden engages in the — in with the press corps is more than — more than the last three presidents. If you think about the informal questions and the formal questions, and I told — I mentioned to all of you yesterday that we actually had some — some data to share. It’s more than Presidents Trump; it’s more than Obama — Obama — combined —
REPORTER: What measurement?
REPORTER: How — yeah.
JEAN-PIERRE: We’re happy to share that. I’m just letting you know.
REPORTER: Well, I would just ask — I mean, just — like, is it minutes spoken or —
JEAN-PIERRE: It’s questions. I just said: questions.
REPORTER: Number of questions?
JEAN-PIERRE: Number of questions. Yeah —
REPORTER: So — so, that’s what I’m asking is what the metric is.
JEAN-PIERRE: Okay. No problem. That’s what I — but I said —
REPORTER: Number of questions.
JEAN-PIERRE: — number of questions. Just number of questions. Let me — let me finish, and then we can continue —
REPORTER: Oh, yeah, sure.
JEAN-PIERRE: So it’s more than President Trump and Obama combined, or President Obama and George W. Bush, and here you go. To your question, he has answered over 320 questions, and that’s not even including more — more formal press conference and interviews.
So look, we’re going to try and — we’re going to keep — be consistent in his engagement with reporters, and to — as we know, the job that you all do is very important as you inform the American people. That will not stop. I just don’t have anything else to share with you on that.
REPORTER: So that’s — so that’s a no on a press conference?
JEAN-PIERRE: There will not be a press conference on this trip.
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