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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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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.

After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.

Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”

“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”

A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”

Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.

In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”

 

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