Trump Accuses Biden of Taking 'Softball Questions' During First Press Conference in Months

Former President Donald Trump has accused President Joe Biden of handpicking reporters to deliver "softball questions" during his press conference on Wednesday.

Trump argued that Biden had been reading back prepared answers to each carefully selected question while the president was conducting his first White House press conference in 10 months. Although Biden did give a short prepared speech at the beginning of the event, he did not appear to be delivering prepared remarks while answering questions afterward.

"How come Biden picks a reporter off a list, in all cases softball questions, and then reads the answer?" Trump said in a statement. "I would never have been allowed to get away with that, nor would I have to!"

The former president's statement was issued before Biden took questions from Trump-friendly news outlets like Fox News and Newsmax. Biden joked that Fox News reporter Peter Doocy always asked him "the nicest questions" before insisting that he was a "mainstream Democrat" in what appeared to be an off-the-cuff response to a question about why he was trying to "pull the country so far to the left."

"Well, I'm not. I don't know what you consider to be too far to the left," Biden said after chuckling at Doocy's question. "You guys have been trying to convince me that I am Bernie Sanders. I'm not. I like him, but I'm not Bernie Sanders, I'm not a Socialist. I'm a mainstream Democrat."

Biden's press conference lasted for one hour and 53 minutes, with all but 13 minutes devoted to taking questions. The press conference was longer than any held during Trump's presidency, when the longest was one hour and 26 minutes. Biden also outlasted former President Barack Obama's record of one hour and 27 minutes.

While Biden has so far held far fewer press conferences than Trump in total, he has held more solo press conferences during his first year than the former president, according to the University of California at Santa Barbara's American Presidency Project.

Trump held just one solo press conference during 2017, while being part of 20 joint press conferences during the same year. Biden took part in six solo press conferences during 2021, mostly abroad, but only three joint press conferences.

Biden held a total of two solo press conferences during his first year in office since his second took place one day before the one-year anniversary of his inauguration.

It took Trump nearly 16 months to face the press by himself for a second time after his first formal White House news conference. Trump held five solo press conferences during 2018, three in 2019 and an outsized 35 from 2020 until he left office on January 20, 2021.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.

Bidden Press Conference Trump 'softball questions'
Former President Donald Trump accused President Joe Biden of taking only "softball" questions and using prepared answers during his press conference on January 19. Pictured, Biden speaks during the press conference on the eve of his first year in office, from the East Room of the White House on January 19, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)