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CNN hosts knock Biden for getting ‘snippy’ with press: ‘Far below his predecessors' in taking questions

CNN reporters spoke about how Biden has objected to being questioned directly by reporters, an interaction they argued is essential for both presidents and the media.

CNN hosts spoke about a contentious moment at an international summit Thursday when President Biden bristled at being asked an off-topic question by a reporter.

Biden and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a joint press conference at the G-7 in Italy about a new 10-year security agreement. After answering questions about both Ukraine and his son Hunter Biden’s trial, the U.S. president objected when he was asked about the war in Gaza. 

"I wish you guys would play by the rules a little bit. I'm here to talk about a critical situation in Ukraine. You're asking another subject," Biden snapped.

CNN News Central host Boris Sanchez noted that Biden "apparently didn‘t enjoy being asked" about the conflict in Gaza. 

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Co-host Brianna Keilar agreed, "He‘s been snippy recently about being asked multiple questions in these press conferences." 

After clarifying she and her co-host have served as White House correspondents, she argued the types of questions asked of Biden "are very limited. They‘re called ‘2-and-2’s’ and the reporters tend to – there‘s a tradition of asking more than the questions, that‘s just pretty usual because there are not that many questions to ask."

She went on to argue that Biden "falls far below his predecessors when it comes to interviews and when it comes to press conferences, we just need to be clear about that." 

Keilar then said that many reporters will travel across the world just to fulfill their duties and question the president. 

"They have a lot of questions to ask him and these reporters do not have many opportunities. They‘ve all dragged themselves to Italy for this G7 summit to do one thing, their jobs, ‘Ask these questions.’"

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After Biden scolded the reporter at the G-7 summit, the White House Correspondents' Association put out a statement defending the independence of the free press to ask questions.

"The White House Correspondents’ Association believes it is in the public interest to make clear that at a presidential press conference, at home or abroad, there are no preconditions regarding question topics," the statement read. "While the White House does determine the number of reporters the president will recognize, it is up to professional journalists to decide what to ask." 

It continued, "Any leader may prefer that reporters ask only one question or ask only about a topic that is of most interest to the president or another world leader, but a free press functions independently. WHCA would welcome more opportunities to pose a range of questions to the president in a press conference setting."

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