White House spokesman Ian Sams, who is in charge of the ongoing scandal over the ongoing scandal of President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents, attacked reporters who bombarded him with questions, demanding he answers questions Monday. Sams accused reporters of trying to “stir up controversy to get attention or time on camera.”
“I have certainly endeavored to give all of you in the press corps access to the information that you need,” said Sams on a press call. “I’ve taken your questions a couple of times; I made myself available for media interviews.”
“In every presidency, you know, there are many people out there in the media who’s sort of trying to stir up controversy to get attention or time on camera,” Sams added. The press rep has served as the go-to point person for the White House counsel’s office since the scandal broke on January 9 with the revelation that classified papers were located in Biden’s Penn Biden Washington, D.C. office.
Since the White House press corps has been tight-lipped, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has referred most questions from reporters about the scandal to the Justice Department or the White House counsel’s office.
In past briefings, reporters’ frustration with the Biden administration’s lack of information has reached a boiling point, with journalists asking, “What is the White House trying to hide?” and accusing Jean-Pierre of supervising an “information blackout.”
The targeted questions continued during the press briefing Monday, with Jean-Pierre asking at one point, “Why should the American people believe that this President takes classified material seriously and the handling of it?”
Another journalist asked, “The President said last week that he has no regrets when it comes to the handling of classified documents. Why doesn’t he have regrets, given classified documents keep turning up?”
“The President said last week that he has no regrets when it comes to handling of classified documents. Why doesn’t he have regrets, given classified documents keep turning up?” another reporter inquired.
“When you found out that the FBI had located even more classified materials in Wilmington, which four-letter word did you use?” asked Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, tongue-in-cheek.
Calls for a representative from the counsel’s office to answer questions
The most frequently mentioned request from media is that a representative from the White House counsel’s office — particularly Biden’s special counsel appointed to respond to congressional probes by Republicans in congress, Richard Sauber — make an appearance in the briefing room to answer questions in front of cameras.
Thus far, the Biden administration has yet to make representatives available besides Sams.
“We’ve tried to give you guys public information as it’s appropriate,” said Sams to reporters on Monday. “…But I think that the American people see it for what it is, which is the president respecting the appropriate entity who’s doing an investigation and ensuring that they have the independence they need to conduct that investigation.”
From the beginning, the burgeoning scandal has been handled in relative secret. Although documents were located at the Penn Biden Center six days before the 2022 midterm elections, the Biden administration took two months to discover confidential documents public after CBS reported they were found.
Since the White House revealed that classified documents had been discovered in multiple locations in the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, including in boxes next to his car in the garage. The lasts admission came Saturday, one day after federal investigators searched the location for 13 hours.
During Monday’s press call, Sams refused to answer several other questions, including how many pages of documents were discovered and what the papers contained.