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President Joe Biden continued to give the media the runaround Thursday by refusing to commit to a specific time in which journalists would be allowed inside the Border Patrol facilities where thousands of migrant children are currently being housed amid the ongoing border crisis.
Since the start of the crisis, media members have been denied access to the facilities, leading many to assume that conditions on the inside are far worse than the administration is letting on. Biden did little to assuage those concerns Thursday, essentially arguing that media will only have access when the facilities are good and ready.
“Given conditions that were just laid out at the migrant facilities at the U.S. border, will you commit to allowing journalists to have access to the facilities that are overcrowded going forward?” NBC News reporter Kristin Welker asked during the first news conference of Biden’s presidency.
In response, the president stated, “I will commit when my plan very shortly is underway to let you have access to not just them but the other facilities, as well.”
Not satisfied, Welker pressed the issue further, desiring to know when that access would be granted so that the American people could see what is going on inside the facilities. But again Biden demurred, fumbling through his answer, saying, “I will commit to transparency as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we’re doing right now.”
When asked again when exactly the media would be given access, Biden admitted, “I don’t know.”
Joe Biden, when asked about allowing reporters to have access to crowded migrant facilities, says that he "will commit to transparency," but not until his plan is allowed to take effect.
When pressed on an exact timeline for transparency, he says "I don't know." pic.twitter.com/iaOX4p5QqK
— YAF (@yaf) March 25, 2021
The remarkable answer offered further proof that Biden does not have the situation at the border under control and, furthermore, that he has no interest in letting the media — and by extension, the American public — know.
The president and his team should have known that questions about the border crisis would come up as he prepared for the first press conference of his presidency. However, when the question came regarding media access to the facilities, it seemed as if the president was clueless on how to answer.
Hogan Gidley, former national press secretary under President Trump, mocked the exchange on Twitter, noting that Biden basically admitted he would only let people see the facilities once he had everything “fixed” and “pretty for the cameras.”
Earlier in the week, leaked photos from inside a Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, showed hundreds of children packed together in small makeshift rooms with nothing for comfort but metallic cloth bedding.
Conditions inside similar facilities have previously been described by the media as “grim,” cage-like, and “akin to jails.”