President Biden mentioned Monday he had a “good meeting” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a last-minute choice to exclude US reporters from the room — leaving confused journalists in a hallway to depend on Erdogan’s PR workplace for data.
Biden’s formal meeting with the Turkish strongman, whose authorities ceaselessly jails journalists, was supposed to start with American press entry within the room on the annual NATO summit.
But in a break from the White House’s every day schedule, press weren’t allowed into the room and even instructed that the meeting was underway — only a day after Biden sought to wrap up a press convention within the UK by saying he would “get in trouble” with workers who handle his press entry if he continued speaking.
Reporters realized from Erdogan’s press workplace, fairly than from White House press handlers, that the Monday afternoon meeting was in progress. Erdogan’s workplace tweeted photographs of a seemingly pleasant greeting after an awkward morning fist bump. Video of the introduction between the leaders was revealed by Turkish TV.
After ready exterior the room for 112 minutes, pissed off US reporters have been invited into the room to witness Erdogan and Biden seated throughout a desk joined by workers.
Biden instructed reporters, “We had a very good meeting.”
A reporter in search of further data shouted to Biden: “We couldn’t hear you, sir.”
Biden added: “Because I didn’t say anything.”
The meeting was anticipated to cowl an array of hot-button points, together with Biden’s recent recognition of the Armenian genocide, Turkish arms purchases from Russia and Turkish interventions within the civil wars in Syria and Libya.
Prominent political journalists took to Twitter to slam the White House for excluding the media.
Ashley Parker, the White House bureau chief on the Washington Post, wrote on Twitter, “Biden is abroad doing a big push on democracy v autocracy. BUT the U.S. press — a key part of any functioning democracy — has gotten less access than under previous administrations. And is now forced to resort to updates on from…the Turkish government Twitter account.”
Reporter Ed O’Keefe of CBS News wrote, “The U.S. press pool has been holding for more than hour outside this meeting with limited access yet again today at @POTUS — after significant access issues over the weekend at the G-7. Meanwhile, the Turkish president quickly posted photos from their ongoing meeting.”
Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News noted, “Turkish officials are tweeting photos of President Biden meeting with Erdogan, while the White House traveling press pool, which was supposed to cover the beginning of the bilat, is outside waiting out in the hallway.”
Reporters have been excluded from the Erdogan meeting after the White House confirmed that Biden gained’t give a joint press convention with Russian President Vladimir Putin after they meet Wednesday.
Erdogan, in energy since 2003, is thought for his intolerance towards dissent, heightened throughout his crackdown on free speech following an alleged 2016 coup try.
In 2017, Erdogan notoriously watched as his guards attacked US residents close to the White House after a meeting with President Donald Trump. Fifteen of his guards confronted US prices, although prices towards 11 of them have been dropped in 2018. Congress blocked an arms sale to Turkey after the assault.