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Psaki: Biden to hold his first presser by end of month

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On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that President Joe Biden will hold his first press conference before the end of March.

At Friday’s press briefing, Psaki was asked about why Biden has yet to appear at a press conference 45 days into his presidency, a longer drought than any president going back to Ronald Reagan, as The Hill pointed out.

Former President Donald Trump, on the other hand, took 28 days to formally take questions from the press, while Barack Obama did it after only 21 days in office, and George W. Bush took 34 days, as Fox News noted.

Saying that the president has been busy dealing with the pandemic, the COVID-19 relief package, and restoring the economy, Psaki promised a press conference before the month’s end.

“We look forward to holding a full press conference in the coming weeks, before the end of the month,” Psaki said.

“We’re working on setting a final date for that […] but this president came in during a historic crisis, a pandemic like the country had not seen in decades and decades and an economic downturn that left tens of millions of people out of work, so I think the American people would certainly understand if his focus and his energy and his attention has been on ensuring we secure enough vaccines for all Americans […] and then pushing for a rescue plan,” she said.

Unlike Biden, Trump would hold spontaneous, off-the-cuff press conferences and spread his opinions and statement on Twitter.

Biden, though, has mostly been taking questions sporadically when they are yelled at him at scripted events.

Psaki said that the president had answered 40 questions during those public events. Those conditions, however, are different from a press conference, where numerous journalist get an opportunity to question the president and ask follow-up questions, as The Hill noted.

“The president takes questions several times a week,” Psaki said. “He took questions actually twice yesterday, which is an opportunity for people covering the White House to ask him about whatever news is happening on a given day.”

‘’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,” she continued. 

“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.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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White House Confirms It Is Looking Into Shutting Down Oil Pipeline Amid Fuel Crisis

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Gas Pipeline

The Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan despite the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked about the report during Monday’s press briefing, asking, “why is the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan?”

“So, Peter, that is inaccurate,” Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed. “That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate. … So, again, I would — it is inaccurate what you just stated, but —”

“What’s inaccurate?” Doocy asked.

“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I didn’t say ‘wanting.’  I said, is it being studied right now?  Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?”

“Yeah. Yes, we are. We are,” Jean-Pierre admitted.

 

The news comes as gas prices have reached their highest since 2014, when Biden was vice president, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.

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