White House Says Biden 'Misspoke' After He Said He'd Hold Rare Press Conference

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
May 5, 2023

The White House corrected President Joe Biden on Friday after he said he would hold an afternoon press conference.

"We’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m doing a major press conference this afternoon," Biden told the press pool as they left an event Friday morning. 

But the president was quickly corrected by a White House spokesperson who said there would be no such event and that Biden was "referring to a previously announced interview." MSNBC is airing an interview with Biden at 10 p.m. Friday. 

Holding a press conference would have been a rare move for the president, who has held the fewest news conferences since former president Ronald Reagan. He has granted less than a quarter as many interviews as Donald Trump did at the same point in his presidency.

The New York Post reported that as of mid-March, Biden had participated in 375 informal question-and-answer sessions—more than Trump, Obama, or Bush—but that "they often are extremely brief engagements that can feature as little as a single-word reply before the commander-in-chief walks away."

Friday was not the first time White House officials have walked back Biden's comments. At least three times during his administration, the White House has contradicted Biden after he said the United States is committed to defend Taiwan if China invades, with officials insisting the United States' policy of ambiguity on that question remains unchanged.

During Biden's trip to Poland last year, the White House corrected several remarks the president made, including that the United States would respond "in kind" if Russia used chemical weapons and that U.S. troops would be deployed to Ukraine.

Biden’s working hours are limited. The "vast majority" of events Biden attends are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and it's difficult to schedule events with him in the morning, night, or on the weekend, White House officials told Axios.

Published under: Joe Biden