White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted on a recent podcast that a good portion of President Joe Biden’s marathon press conference was unplanned — and unscripted.
Psaki joined actor Rob Lowe on his podcast “Literally! With Rob Lowe” and the topic turned to Biden’s last two-hour press conference and just how much of that had been planned ahead of time.
“So I have a question for you. And this was the week where the president did his two-hour press conference. And now how did … That was a long press conference. Let’s face it, it was a long …” Lowe began, and Psaki pointed out that it had actually been “record-breaking” with regard to its duration.
“Record-breaking, and absolutely got into the thing where he was answering the same question five times. Was that planned? Was it on the fly or was it like, ‘You think this guy can’t talk in front of the country we’re putting him out there for two hours?’” Lowe asked. “What was the thinking behind it?”
“It was not planned. It was planned to be an hour,” Psaki replied, prompting Lowe to respond, “Oh, my God.”
“Right. It was going to be an hour,” Psaki continued, noting that staff had prepped Biden with a list of questions and notes about who to call on during the briefing, but that he had just kept going. “And, you know, I think in the moment, he just decided to take some more questions, and that went on for a record-breaking amount of time.”
“Were you pulling your hair out?” Lowe asked. “I mean, there is a moment where like, Look, let’s face it, it’s not – it’s not a knock on anybody. You just go declare victory and get off the field.”
“Yeah. I mean, I’m a pretty chill person. I think people who work with me would say. But I think when some of the questions started to be off in ‘Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs’ land there, I was thinking, Oh my, what? Where are we going here with this?” Psaki continued. “And that’s obviously not on the president.”
Psaki went on to note that the press conference had at times gotten repetitive, but that Biden had kept up with reporters.
“You know, it’s funny there’s been this is like a very Washington thing obsession with him doing a formal press conference, which is what happened the other night. But he also has taken questions multiple times a day since he started the presidency from the reporters,” Psaki added. “So in a funny way, it was a it was kind of people seeing what he does nearly every day, but in a less formal setting. But yes, there was a moment there where I was thinking, where is this going and where? What, who else is going to be called on in this room?”
“I watched it from the beginning at work,” Lowe concluded, saying that he had been on set shooting his show at the time. “I’m watching. I’m watching it in my trailer, and then I go — I literally went and put out five fires and saved three people and came back and the president was still talking.”
Psaki had previously addressed Biden’s impromptu expansion of the press conference during an interview with Fox News host and former White House press secretary Dana Perino.
Jen Psaki ends her first Fox News interview with smiles and laughs as Dana Perino says she was “having a heart attack” for Psaki when Biden extended yesterday’s press conference.
The hosts then extend an invitation to Biden as Perino wishes the Bengals luck in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/vDaLQhelkB
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 20, 2022
You can watch Psaki on Lowe’s podcast here:
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