White House tries to pin ‘chaotic’ Oval Office scenes on Boris Johnson – ‘Out of order’

Boris Johnson and Joe Biden speak in The White House

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During a discussion with US President Joe Biden yesterday, Mr Johnson took questions from British reporters on UK-US trade, Harry Dunn and Northern Ireland. But their American counterparts lodged a formal complaint after they were not allowed to ask the 46th President further questions.

Mr Biden had answered some questions from British reporters, including on Harry Dunn’s death.

When US reporters tried to follow up, Biden’s aides called time on the media huddle and demanded hacks leave the Oval Office in what American journalists dubbed as “chaotic”.

But Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, has tried to pin the blame for the mess on Boris Johnson.

“I think our relationship with the United Kingdom and Prime Minister Johnson is so strong and abiding we will be able to move forward beyond this,” she said with a smile.

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“But he called on individuals from his press corps without alerting us to that intention in advance.”

Ms Psaki added: “I think the President has not spent a minute worrying about it.”

The chaotic scenes followed after the Prime Minister was making a point about Northern Ireland.

Ulster has proved to be a point of contrast between the UK and US Government.

President Biden and the Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, have previously put pressure on the British Government to uphold the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Just before Mr Johnson was interrupted he was saying: “On that point, Joe, we are completely at one.

“And I think nobody wants to see anything that interrupts or un-balances the Belfast Good Friday…”

US reporters were far from happy about being cut off.

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Andrew Restuccia, a White House reporter at the Wall Street Journal, described the scenes as “chaotic”.

The Daily Mirror’s political editor, Pippa Crerar, added: “White House colleagues might be interested to know the British press thought aides shouting was totally out of order.”

“An unwelcome lack of accountability…”

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