Biden Presser Potpourri: Parks on Anti-Israel Dems, Cordes on Bibi, Doocy on…UFOs?

On Friday, President Biden held his second joint press conference and with South Korean President Moon Jae-in alongside, Biden faced questions ranging from the obvious to U.S.-South Korea ties to the newsworthy with questions about the recent fighting between Israel and Hamas to the surprising (and arguably humorous) concerning the likelihood of aliens.

After two wire services received the precious slots at the first joint presser, it was largely television’s turn, so ABC’s MaryAlice Parks received the first crack and she asked about more Democrats turning away from Israel:

What is your message to Democrats who want you to be more confrontational with Israel and — and specifically to those that are saying that there should be an end to — to arm sales? I mean, do you recognize that there’s been a shift, an evolution in your party, Mr. President, in the last 20 years on this issue?

As is customary, the two American reporters and two foreign journalists ask questions of both world leaders, so her question to Moon was whether both men “have offered any assurances behind the scenes to Taiwan and if President Biden has — has pushed you to take a — a tougher stance” on China’s belligerent behavior against Taiwan.

A Yonhap News reporter took pole position on the Korean side and said that “the Israel and Palestine issue is very important but North Korea nuclear issues is equally important,” so he wanted to know if both leaders found agreement on addressing the Kim Jong-un regime.

This led right into the first of two questions from CBS’s Nancy Cordes on the same topic (click “expand”):

BIDEN: Oh, I get the next question, huh? I’d like to ask the press a question, if I may. [LAUGHTER] Nancy Cordes, CBS.

CORDES: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I have one question about North Korea and one question about Israel.

BIDEN: We change this one question thing, haven’t we?

CORDES: Two foreign policy questions. You have said in the past that you would not meet with Kim Jong, the leader of North Korea without certain preconditions.

BIDEN: Yes.

CORDES: What are those preconditions and do you believe he would ever be able to meet them?

Cordes worked in two more questions with one about where his “relationship” stood with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the other coming from the left about whether he obtained from Netanyahu any “expectations that he will bolster the rights of the Palestinian people in some way.”

Both men had to have thought they were done after a Korea Herald reporter’s questions about vaccine cooperation, but Fox News’s Peter Doocy shouted out a request for “time for one more” and after Biden quipped he could so long as it’s not “a mean one like you usually, do,” Doocy made the most of it.

Promising it was about “something interesting,” Doocy went in a direction that was out of this world and drew plenty of laughs from both Biden, fellow journalists, and onlookers:

DOOCY: President Obama says that there is footage and records of objects in the skies — these unidentified aerial phenomenon and he says, “we don’t know exactly what they are.” What do you think that it is?

BIDEN: I would ask him again. Thank you.

After Biden had left the podium and news streams had cut off, reporters shouted more questions as the U.S. President walked by. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was one such reporter and she wondered if his administration would spy on reports on the heels of reports the Trump Justice Department had seized the communications over CNN’s Barbara Starr (click “expand”):

COLLINS: Should the government be seizing reporters’ phone records and e-mails and would you prevent your Justice Department from doing that?

BIDEN: Only you, but beyond you — [COLLINS LAUGHS] — but no.

COLLINS: But honestly.

BIDEN: Absolutely, positively, it’s wrong. It’s simply, simply wrong.

COLLINS: So, you won’t let your Justice Department do that?

BIDEN: No, I will not let that happen.

Seeing as how the Obama administration he was a part of had spied on numerous journalists and a key Biden ally in Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) had already done so on Just The News’s John Solomon. Biden’s claims immediately rung hollow.

To see the relevant transcript from May 21’s presser, click “expand.”

Biden press conference
May 21, 2021
6:12 p.m. Eastern

MARYALICE PARKS: What is your message to Democrats who want you to be more confrontational with Israel and — and specifically to those that are saying that there should be an end to — to arm sales? I mean, do you recognize that there’s been a shift, an evolution in your party, Mr. President, in the last 20 years on this issue?

(….)

6:14 p.m. Eastern

PARKS: I’m curious if the two of you have offered any assurances behind the scenes to Taiwan and if President Biden has — has pushed you to take a — a tougher stance when it comes to — to China’s posture towards Taiwan — Taiwan?

(….)

6:16 p.m. Eastern

YONHAP NEWS REPORTER: As was mentioned by the former journalist, I understand that the Israel and Palestine issue is very important but North Korea nuclear issues is equally important. On your two’s list, what’s the number that’s given to the North Korea nuclear issue on your priority list, Mr. President Biden? And also to Mr. President Moon, in terms of your road map for resolving the nuclear issue in North Korea, I want to understand whether your time schedule actually matches and is equal to one another in terms of resolving the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula.

(….)

6:19 p.m. Eastern

BIDEN: Oh, I get the next question, huh? I’d like to ask the press a question, if I may. [LAUGHTER] Nancy Cordes, CBS.

NANCY CORDES: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I have one question about North Korea and one question about Israel.

BIDEN: We change this one question thing, haven’t we?

CORDES: Two foreign policy questions. You have said in the past that you would not meet with Kim Jong, the leader of North Korea without certain preconditions.

BIDEN: Yes.

CORDES: What are those preconditions and do you believe he would ever be able to meet them?

(….)

6:21 p.m. Eastern

CORDES: And then in the wake of all of your conversations this week, what is your relationship like now with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Do you have certain expectations that he will bolster the rights of the Palestinian people in some way and, if so, did you convey that to him in your conversations?

(….)

6:24 p.m. Eastern

KOREA HERALD REPORTER: The Korean people are very curious about vaccines and they’re waiting for the good news regarding vaccines. Have you had a lot of discussions with President Biden regarding vaccine and I wonder whether you have any good news to deliver to the people of Korea and has there been any meaningful achievement that you want to go into the details of?

(….)

6:29 p.m. Eastern

PETER DOOCY: Time for one more?

BIDEN: If you’re not asking me a mean one like you usually do.

[LAUGHTER]

DOOCY: It’s something interesting. I think it is, [INAUDIBLE]. President Obama says that there is footage and records of objects in the skies — these unidentified aerial phenomenon and he says, “we don’t know exactly what they are.” What do you think that it is?

BIDEN: I would ask him again. Thank you.

[LAUGHTER]

BIDEN: Come on, boss. Let’s go.

(….)

TIME N/A

KAITLAN COLLINS: Should the government be seizing reporters’ phone records and e-mails and would you prevent your Justice Department from doing that?

BIDEN: Only you, but beyond you — [COLLINS LAUGHS] — but no.

COLLINS: But honestly.

BIDEN: Absolutely, positively, it’s wrong. It’s simply, simply wrong.

COLLINS: So, you won’t let your Justice Department do that?

BIDEN: No, I will not let that happen.

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