Biden to hold first formal news conference next week

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President Joe Biden walks to speak with members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Biden is en route to Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will hold his first formal news conference on March 25 at the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

Biden is the first president in decades to go this long without holding a formal question and answer session with reporters. He has opted to take questions about as often as most of his recent predecessors, but he tends to field just one or two informal inquiries at a time, usually in a hurried setting at the end of an event.

It reflects a White House media strategy meant both to reserve major media set-pieces for the celebration of a legislative victory and to limit unforced errors from a historically gaffe-prone politician.

The White House has faced escalating pressure to hold a press conference, and his delay sparked Republican attacks. Psaki had previously said Biden would hold a news conference before the end of March.