President Donald Trump is in China visiting with his counterpart there, President Xi Jinping. During a joint press conference Wednesday, Trump declined to take questions, acceding to a request from his Chinese hosts.
“It was at the Chinese insistence that there were no questions today,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, media on the ground reported.
The request was likely not a difficult one to grant for the media-bashing U.S. president — especially given that his predecessor Barack Obama also declined to take questions with then-Chinese President Hu Jintao during his first visit in 2009.
7/ but to all those former OBAMA aides out there heralding how great he was on this issue: In 2009 Obama didn’t take questions while in China with President Hu. “Today’s event had been described as a press conference, but no questions were allowed.”https://t.co/hhUlIt3QIl
– Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 9, 2017
The Obama-era precedent, however, went largely overlooked on Twitter, as breathless journalists and blue-check politicos puffed their feathers and unloaded a fusillade of disdain against Trump.
One person who forgot the 2009 Obama visit was his former press secretary Jay Carney, who called Trump’s decision not to take questions an “embarrassing capitulation.”
CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond beat a hasty retreated after he tweeted falsely that Trump was the first president not to take questions since George H.W. Bush.
The network’s senior diplomatic correspondent Michelle Kosinski still hasn’t corrected this.
And things pretty much went from there.