According to the Washington Examiner, President Joe Biden seemed to accidentally reveal during a recent joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he was either aware of the questions he was going to face ahead of time, or at least knew which reporter would be asking the questions.
“First question, I’m told, is MaryAlice Parks, ABC,” Biden said Friday to kick off the joint presser, raising the eyebrows of his critics in the media.
In the opinion of many observers, the opening remark — which could have been a slip-up — suggested that his White House communications staff is carefully curating his press experiences to place him in the best possible light. Most of the press appears to go along with the charade as if nothing is out of the ordinary.
Even more disturbing is the sheer number of mistakes and gaffes that the 78-year-old president continues to make despite the advanced preparation and foreknowledge, though in rare form, the presser with Moon seemed to go relatively smooth.
Meeting with Moon
Biden’s meeting with Moon centered around North Korea and regional security. The two also focused on hot topics such as technology, health, and global climate issues.
“My team consulted closely with President Moon’s team throughout the process of the DPRK review, and we are both are deeply concerned about the situation,” Biden said. The president also named a special envoy to focus on those particular areas of concern.
Officials within the Biden administration said that the U.S. strategy on North Korea would be unilateral nuclear disarmament, adding that it would work to build on the Singapore agreement, which was originally hammered out by former President Donald Trump.
Vice President Kamala Harris also held a solo meeting with Moon prior to Biden’s even that some reportedly considered unusual.
Harris’ meeting with Moon focused on dealing with the “root causes” of immigration and how to stop the influx of migration from the “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America, although it was unclear how Moon, the leader of a country on a different continent, could possibly be of any assistance with the issue.
Is Biden really in control?
Biden’s comment concerning which questions he was supposed to take during the presser only served to further fuel speculation with regard to Biden’s actual level of control during his limited press appearances.
The president has made similar comments during other events. His most recent slip-up in that regard happened earlier this month when he said, “I’m not supposed to be answering all these questions,” during a press update on the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the New York Post.
Biden also has a history of suggesting that he’ll “be in trouble” if he answers more questions than he should during press conferences, which even prompted White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to admit that the communications staff frowns on impromptu questions.