The White House said it is “entirely normal” for President Joe Biden to receive briefings on anticipated questions before a news conference.
“It’s entirely normal for a president to be briefed on reporters who will be asking questions at a press conference and issues we expect they might ask about,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters gathered for a separate briefing.
“It is not surprising that yesterday we would anticipate questions that he did receive on the visit with the South Korean president…or about 2024, that was completely expected, or about the debt ceiling which he took questions at the end,” Jean-Pierre added. “I would point out that the question that was asked was different than what was on the card that you all saw.”
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) April 27, 2023
The statement followed a news conference in which Biden was seen holding a sheet of paper with what appeared to be a reporter’s question written.
The note shows the name of Los Angeles Times reporter Courtney Subramanian with “Question 1” written on it. The question on the card read, “How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic policies—like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing—with alliance-based foreign policy?”
Breitbart News reported that Biden was seen holding the cheat sheet regarding Subramanian’s information during a news conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. Biden picked on Subramanian during the question period after his press conference.
“Your top economic priority has been to build up U.S. domestic manufacturing in competition with China, but your rules against expanding chip manufacturing in China is hurting South Korean companies that rely heavily on Beijing. Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the election?” Subramanian asked.
According to the New York Post, a separate cheat sheet showed “the names of other Biden administration officials to relay the order remarks would be delivered at the press conference.” The heading of the sheet was labeled “Tough Q&A.”
Jean-Pierre said the information on the sheet was different from the questions that were asked. “We do not have specific questions in advance. That’s not something that we do,” she said.
Breitbart News reported that two years ago, Biden was caught using a similar cheat sheet during a press conference. At the time, White House pool photographer Oliver Contreras obtained a cheat sheet with headshot photos of the press event and numbers that were circled by the photograph of each reporter Biden called on.