Hours before President Biden taped a late-night comedy interview with ABC host Jimmy Kimmel, he attempted a pratfall of his own — tripping up the steps of Air Force One as he embarked on another day without a one-on-one interview with a journalist.
Biden’s stumble went largely unnoticed, in part because footage was not immediately published by TV outlets such as C-SPAN, which have access to unfiltered pooled feeds.
Just before his fall, Biden delivered a statement responding to Tuesday night’s latest round of primary elections — which featured the recall of far-left San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
“I think the voters sent a clear message last night,” he said. “Both parties have to step up and do something about crime, as well as gun violence.”
Biden took no questions from reporters before embarking on his fraught ascension of the Air Force One stairs. He also did not stop to speak to the press as he departed the White House Wednesday morning.
The president, 79, previously appeared to lose his balance navigating Air Force One’s steps last month as he traveled to Illinois. In March 2021, Biden fell repeatedly on the steps. The White House blamed that episode on windy weather at the airport.
Biden will spend the next three days in Los Angeles as host of the Summit of the Americas, the run-up to which has been dominated by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s announcement that he would boycott the event after the White House declined to invite the leftist authoritarian leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Aboard Air Force One, a journalist pressed White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan for an explanation of why Biden did not schedule a press conference while in Los Angeles, which he has done while attending other summits overseas.
“I think it’d be hard to argue that he hasn’t taken many, many questions from the press,” Sullivan replied — despite the fact that Biden has done fewer interviews and press conferences than his predecessors, and it seemed unlikely that he would be pressed too hard by the reliably liberal Kimmel, the onetime co-host of Comedy Central’s bawdy “The Man Show.”
Biden’s most recent known one-on-one interview with a professional journalist was held on Feb. 10 with Lester Holt of NBC. The sitdown was recorded and aired three days later during the network’s pregame coverage of the Super Bowl.
This is an excerpt from the New York Post.
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