White House Chaos as Video Shows Joe Biden Aides Stop Reporters Asking Questions

There were chaotic scenes at the White House on Tuesday when U.S. reporters were unable to ask President Joe Biden questions as their attempts were shouted down by aides.

Biden was meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took questions from two British journalists during a brief event where they were available to reporters.

American reporters were not able to ask the two leaders questions and White House aides shouted them down and the press was ushered from the room, leading to complaints from journalists on social media.

Video of the event posted to Twitter appears to show White House aides began shouting as Johnson was finishing the answer to a question and continued shouting loudly as reporters were ushered out.

Some of the journalists attempted to ask questions while the aides shouted.

CBS News Senior White House and Political Correspondent Ed O'Keefe, who was in the room, discussed the incident on Twitter.

"IN THE OVAL OFFICE...@POTUS Biden and British PM @BorisJohnson meet to discuss pandemic, trade and other issues. Johnson took 3 questions," O'Keefe wrote.

"White House aides shouted down U.S. attempts to ask questions. I asked Biden about southern border and we couldn't decipher what he said."

O'Keefe said Johnson was answering a question on Biden's "reluctance to move on a US-UK trade deal."

"As Johnson finished his own answer to the 3rd question about his reluctance, senior White House aides began shouting, seemingly cutting off the PM. We were then escorted from the Oval Office," he tweeted.

Video of the scene

pic.twitter.com/jv8B37NSka https://t.co/WTSicTLybg

— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) September 21, 2021

O'Keefe said he asked Biden about the situation at the southern border as reporters were leaving.

"Due to shouting by White House aides, the noise of everyone leaving, and the president wearing his mask, we could not make out his answer," he said, but he later added an update saying they had played back the tape and Biden had said, in part, "Violence is not justified."

"He is wearing a mask and there is shouting so nothing else is decipherable," O'Keefe said.

Wall Street Journal White House reporter Andrew Restuccia described a "chaotic scene in the Oval Office today as Boris Johnson unexpectedly took questions from British reporters, and White House aides shouted over American reporters as we tried to ask Biden questions."

The British journalists in the room were also reportedly unhappy, with The Daily Mirror's Political Editor Pippa Crerar tweeting: "White House colleagues might be interested to know the British press thought aides shouting was totally out of order. An unwelcome lack of accountability..."

Members of the White House press pool later lodged a formal complaint with Press Secretary Jen Psaki about American journalists not having the chance to ask questions.

Newsweek has asked the White House for comment.

Joe Biden Meets Boris Johnson
President Joe Biden (R) holds a bilateral meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. on September 21, 2021. White House aides shouted over American reporters as they tried to ask questions. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images