White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Tuesday’s press conference that President Joe Biden speaks to former President Barack Obama and that the administration will not disclose what they talk about despite the administration saying that it will be transparent.
“Has President Biden spoken to President Obama about how to pass the infrastructure bill?” a reporter asked. “Has President Obama given him any advice on how to pass that bill?”
“They speak regularly,” Psaki responded. “They, of course, were president and vice president, but they are also friends and they share a bond of serving through eight years of the Obama Biden administration, but also a personal friendship and kinship and he speaks with him regularly, but we’re not going to read out those calls.”
Jenn Psaki says Biden and Obama speak often… but they won't offer a readout of those calls: it's no one's business what they talk about. pic.twitter.com/n9TkedR4Lu
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) April 6, 2021
Psaki said last month that Biden was in “regular” contact with Obama to “consult and talk about a range of issues.”
Psaki made the remarks during the following exchange:
REPORTER: President Obama is taking part, I think within the next hour, in an event with Protect Our Care, talking about the Affordable Care Act. Has — has he — the question is: Has he visited the White House yet? Or, indeed, are there any — do you know how often he has spoken to President Biden? And are there any plans for him to take part in advocacy at administration events going forward?
PSAKI: Well, I will say, having a unique view of this question, they are not just — they were not just the President and Vice President; they are friends, and they consult and talk about a range of issues. And, you know, I would expect that continues through the course of President Biden’s presidency. That can be done over the phone, it turns out. And I don’t — I think if President Obama had been here, you would all know; he’s a recognizable figure. But I expect, given former President Obama’s work on the Affordable Care Act, President Biden’s commitment to expanding access to healthcare throughout his presidency, that, you know, it’s an issue they’ll talk about. But in terms of what he’ll be involved in, I would point you to his team. Eric Schultz — I can give you his phone number if you need it.
REPORTER: Do you know how many times they’ve spoken since Inauguration Day?
PSAKI: I don’t have an exact number for you. You know, they keep in regular touch and our teams are in regular touch about a range of issues.
Psaki also made news at the press conference on vaccine passports when she claimed that the administration would not be “supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential.”
“There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” she added. “As these tools are being considered by the private and non-profit sectors, our interest is very simple from the federal government, which is Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected so these systems are not used against people unfairly.”