White House Rep. Blasts Reporters For Asking Questions About Classified Doc Scandal: They Want ‘Attention’
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to mayors from across the country during an event at the East Room of the White House on January 20, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden hosted mayors who are attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting at the White House to discuss bipartisan achievements. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

A White House spokesman complained that reporters have continued to ask questions about the unfolding scandal involving President Joe Biden and the classified documents found in his possession in several locations.

Ian Sams, who was assigned to represent the White House Counsel’s office on the issue of the classified documents, suggested that reporters were only still asking questions — and demanding that he take questions in full view of the public rather than on private press calls — in order to get “stir up controversy to get attention or time on camera.”

“I have certainly endeavored to give all of you in the press corps access to the information that you need. I’ve taken your questions a couple of times, I made myself available for media interviews,” Sams said on a press call. “In every presidency, you know, there are many people out there in the media who’s sort of trying to stir up controversy to get attention or time on camera.”

Reporters in the White House Press Corps have repeatedly asked about the documents — their scope, whether or not there may be more in other locations, and whether or not Biden knew about them or others had access to them through him — and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has refused to answer even the most benign questions, referring everything to the White House Counsel’s office.

Jean-Pierre did repeat information coming out of the White House Counsel’s office on the Friday before the MLK Day holiday weekend — telling the Press Corps that all of the classified documents in Biden’s possession had been found and properly turned over. But just one day later, more documents were found in the president’s Wilmington, Delaware, home. At the next press briefing on the following Tuesday, Newsmax’s James Rosen and NPR’s Tamara Keith challenged Jean-Pierre directly, asking whether she regretted sharing bad information.

Reporters have continued to press Jean-Pierre, asking her to bring someone from the White House Counsel’s office into the briefing room for direct questions, but so far the Biden administration has resisted.

“We’ve tried to give you guys public information as it’s appropriate,” Sams told reporters during a Monday call. “… But I think that the American people see it for what it is, which is the president respecting the appropriate entity who’s doing an investigation and ensuring that they have the independence they need to conduct that investigation.”

Sams refused to answer any questions about the number of documents that had been found or the information that was contained therein.

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