- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2024

President Biden blasted the White House press corps Thursday for the second time in as many weeks, complaining that reporters never “play by the rules,” instead asking questions that diverge from topics he wants to talk about.

Mr. Biden appeared alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to sign a bilateral security agreement at the G7 summit in Italy. After the ceremony, they took questions from reporters. 

The first question for Mr. Biden was about whether his son, Hunter Biden, was a political target. Hunter Biden was convicted by a federal jury earlier this week of three felonies stemming from his purchase of a gun in 2018 while addicted to crack.

Mr. Biden declined to answer the question, beyond saying he wouldn’t pardon Hunter Biden and that he was proud that his son had overcome his addiction. 

Josh Wingrove, a Bloomberg reporter, asked the second question, which focused on whether Hamas was working in good faith toward a peace deal with Israel.

“I wish you guys would play by the rules a little bit,” Mr. Biden said, raising his voice. “I’m here to talk about a critical situation in Ukraine and you ask me about another subject. I’ll be happy to answer it in detail later.”

Late last month, Mr. Biden, 81, lambasted a journalist for asking an off-topic question during a joint press conference with Kenyan President William Ruto. At the time, Mr. Biden griped that journalists “never keep their deal.” 

“Two questions, If may,” said McClatchy reporter Michael Wilner, one of two U.S. journalists to ask questions. 

“No, one!” Mr. Biden snapped back. The audience laughed, assuming it was a joke. 

Mr. Wilner asked about peacekeeping efforts in Haiti to which Kenya is contributing troops, an expected topic. But then Mr. Wilner quickly pivoted to ask about a pending arrest warrant issued against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by the International Criminal Court.

“One question. I’ll answer your question,” Mr. Biden replied before giving a scripted answer to both questions.

“You guys never keep the deal — but that’s ok,” he told Mr. Wilner, clearly irritated at the off-topic question. 

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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