President Joe Biden said the Indian press ‘is much better behaved’ than the American press during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Friday visit to the Oval Office.
This comes just days after refusing to take questions from American journalists during Tuesday’s meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
‘I think what we’re going to do is bring in the press,’ Biden said Friday as he and Modi sat down for their meeting.
‘The Indian press is much better behaved than the American press,’ Biden said.
‘I think, with your permission,’ the president said to Modi, ‘you could not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point.’
RNC Research, a right-wing Twitter page, and dozens of other shared the clip of the comments, which weren’t included in the official White House transcript.
RNC Research was retweeted over 740 times by Friday night and liked nearly 1,400 times.
Katie Rogers, a White House reporter for The New York Times, retweeted the clip and said on Twitter, ‘I thought Modi had said this when I heard about it, but nope that’s the American president.’
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on Friday
‘I think, with your permission,’ Biden said to Modi, ‘you could not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point’
Another White House correspondent Christian Datoc, a reporter for the DC Examiner, tweeted, ‘Pretty Trumpian.’
Chuck Ross, an investigative reporter at The Washington Free Beacon, also retweeted RNC Research’s video clip and said, ‘India ranks 142nd in the world in press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. Russia is 150th (U.S. is 44).’
Biden’s snarky comment on Friday was the latest spat with the White House Press Corp and reporters.
Just a couple days ago, Biden was criticized for not taking questions during Tuesday’s meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; something Johnson did.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post’s White House bureau chief Ashley Parker blasted the Biden administration for shutting down questions from American reporters.
Katie Rogers, a White House reporter for The New York Times
Christian Datoc, a reporter for the DC Examiner
Chuck Ross, an investigative reporter at The Washington Free Beacon
‘Worth noting that Biden ran for office promising to restore democracy after 4 years of Trump. But today it was the British leader, NOT the American one, who spotlighted a key tenet of a flourishing democracy – respect for a free press – by taking questions from his press corps,’ Parker tweeted Tuesday night.
Biden did not recognize any American reporters for questions during Tuesday’s Oval Office meeting with Johnson – and his aides cleared out journalists as they tried to query the president.
Reporters shouted questions to Biden about topics like the southern border crisis and why border patrol agents on horseback used whips to round up Haitian migrants, but Biden left while giving inaudible, unclear answer.
Over the summer, Biden snapped at NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell for asking about the Department of Veterans’ Affairs vaccine mandate during a July meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at the White House
As White House staff began ushering reporters out of the room, O’Donnell shouted a question about Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough’s department-wide COVID vaccine mandate for its health care workers.
‘You are such a pain in the neck, but I’m going to answer your question because we’ve known each other so long,’ the president shot back.
The Washington Post’s White House bureau chief Ashley Parker was critical of Biden in a Tuesday night tweet
President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Oval Office at the White House
About a month earlier, Biden was clearly agitated when CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins asked him, ‘Why are you so confident [Putin] will change his behavior, Mr. President?’ following the president’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden started to walk away but stopped and whirled around when he heard Collins’ question and began a tense back and forth with the veteran reporter.
‘What the hell? … When did I say I was confident?’ Biden said during the exchange. Biden later apologized for being ‘a wise guy.’