Media complains about limited access on Biden’s first overseas trip


The U.S. press traveling with President Biden on his first overseas trip is complaining about limited access to Mr. Biden’s high-level meetings.

When Mr. Biden met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at NATO headquarters in Belgium on Monday, U.S. reporters waiting nearby only found out that the meeting had started when they saw photos of it on Mr. Erdoğan’s official Twitter account.

The Los Angeles Times’ Eli Stokols, a pool reporter covering Mr. Biden’s meetings, sent a note to other journalists that the meeting “seems to have begun.” Despite the photographic evidence, he said, the White House pool “still hasn’t gotten any information” from Mr. Biden’s aides.

There were also complaints about the U.S. media getting short shrift at some of Mr. Biden’s events at the Group of Seven nations summit in Cornwall, England, late last week.

During the traditional “family photo” of G-7 leaders at a seaside resort, pool reporter Andrew Restuccia of the Wall Street Journal noted in one report: “Only six members of the pool were allowed to be present for the family photo. The other members of the pool were left in a van. Despite the restrictions, there were several dozen journalists from other countries at the family photo.”

Before a leaders’ reception on Friday, Mr. Restuccia reported, “We’re holding in a parking lot and cannot see POTUS or any of the other dignitaries here. We’re told we won’t have any access to tonight’s events.”

There’s usually tension between the media and the White House on such trips, as the press clamors for as much access as possible to the meetings where the president and other leaders are conferring on important matters of state.

And although it’s only his first international trip as president, Mr. Biden so far seems less inclined than his predecessor, former President Trump, to speak to the media frequently about his high-level meetings.

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