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After 48 days without a Biden press conference, White House reporters grow frustrated

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President Joe Biden, who has been in office for 48 days, has yet to hold a formal press conference.

While Biden has taken questions from reporters, he has yet to schedule a formal new conference and White House reporters are becoming restless.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that Biden will hold a press conference “before the end of the month,” but a Washington Post op-ed is calling for Biden to hold a press conference as soon as possible.

“Last month would have been better, and this week would be better than next,” the WaPo editorial board wrote on Sunday.

“Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden,” the editorial board warned. “He is the president, and Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning.”

Each of Biden’s 15 most recent predecessors – including former President Donald Trump – held a full news conference within their first 33 days in office.

Biden’s exchange of questions from reporters at the end of an event are no substitute for a formal press conference, WaPo media critic Erik Wemple said.

“These often perfunctory exchanges are no substitute for formal, solo news conferences at which reporters can ask follow-up questions,” Wemple said. “Answers are supposed to be more than a couple of words long, and the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined.”

Psaki said that the White House is working on finalizing a date for a full press conference.

“The president takes questions several times a week. He took questions actually twice yesterday,” Psaki said Monday. ‘’We look forward to holding a full press conference. We’re working on setting a final date for that and as soon as we do we will let you all know.”

“This president came in during a historic crisis,” Psaki added. “I think the American people understand that his focus energy and attention has been on ensuring we secure enough vaccines… and pushing for an American rescue plan.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Stormy Daniels lawyer in Trump trial, Michael Avenatti, sentenced to prison for stealing millions from clients

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Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against former President Donald Trump was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Avenatti was sentenced for stealing millions of dollars from his clients. He was also fined a whopping $10 million.

U.S. District Judge James v. Selna said “Avenatti’s sentence in Southern California will be served after he finishes a five-year term for separate convictions in New York” reported the Associated Press.

“This was the last of three major federal criminal cases to wrap up against the 51-year-old Californian. Avenatti is currently serving prison time for stealing book proceeds from Daniels — who sued to break a confidentiality agreement with Trump to stay mum about an affair she said they had — and for trying to extort Nike if the shoemaker didn’t pay him up to $25 million” adds the AP.

Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., used the news of Avenatti’s conviction to bring up an old Tweet of his. On October 11 2018, Avenatti predicted Trump Jr. would be going to prison: “Donald Trump Jr. will be indicted before his birthday on 12-31-18. If you doubt my prediction, please check my record over the last 7 months. #winning.”

Trump Jr. is getting the last laugh. Jr. tweeted Avenatti’s 2018 prediction with the Associated Press headline of the conviction: “BREAKING: Incarcerated lawyer Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for cheating clients out of millions of dollars – AP.”

Earlier this year Avenatti plead guilty to “four counts of wire fraud and a tax-related charge despite not reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors, saying he wanted to be accountable and spare his family further embarrassment” added the AP.

“He was accused of negotiating and collecting settlement payments on behalf of his clients and funneling the money to accounts he controlled, and spending it on his own lavish lifestyle, including a private jet.”

The Associated Press  also went into further detail on Avenatti’s court hearing:

“Despite the significant advantages that this defendant had — a first-rate education, a thriving legal career — he chose to commit the deplorable acts in this case time and time again,” prosecutor Brett Sagel told the court in Santa Ana. “The defendant is just another criminal who thinks the law is something that applies to other people.”

His voice breaking, Avenatti apologized to the clients he bilked, including two who told the court about how losing the money and their trust in someone they thought had their back upended their lives.

“I am deeply remorseful and contrite,” Avenatti said. “There is no doubt that all of them deserve much better, and I hope that someday they will accept my apologies and find it in their heart to forgive me.”

Authorities in California said Avenatti carried out what amounted to a “sophisticated Ponzi scheme” by collecting settlement payments on behalf of vulnerable clients and using the money to fund his exorbitant lifestyle.

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