Journalists, Obama Alums Attack Trump for Not Taking Questions in China, Fail to Note Obama Did the Same

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping / Getty Images


Journalists and Obama administration alumni attacked President Donald Trump for not taking questions following his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, while neglecting to note former President Barack Obama did the same.

Both Democrats and the media fumed at a statement put out by the Trump administration that they didn't take any questions at the request of the Chinese, which they framed as unprecedented and detrimental to press freedoms.

But what they missed or failed to mention was that President Barack Obama also failed to take questions with then-President Hu Jintao during his first trip to China.

"Today's event had been described as a press conference, but no questions were allowed," complained The Guardian in 2009. "Instead, Hu and Obama delivered brief prepared comments on their discussions, which had lasted for two and a half hours."

It wasn't until Obama's 2014 trip that both world leaders took questions following their meeting in China. Xi largely ignored a pair of questions posed by a New York Times reporter, the only questions he took from Western press.

Some, such as CNN's Jeremy Diamond, issued a correction without deleting the original tweet. CNN's Jake Tapper attacked Trump's decision, but noted Obama initially had the same policy.

Alex Griswold

Alex Griswold   Email Alex | Full Bio | RSS
Alex is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. Before joining the Free Beacon, he was a writer for Mediaite and The Daily Caller. He is originally from Buffalo, New York, but regrettably now lives in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at

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