Radio Host Who Interviewed Biden Says Questions Were Provided In Advance


A local radio host who recently conducted an interview with President Biden told CNN that White House aides provided her with a list of questions she could ask in advance.

“The questions were sent to me for approval. I approved them,” Andrea Lawful-Sanders, host of “The Source” in Philadelphia, said during an interview Saturday with CNN’s Victor Blackwell.

When Blackwell asked whether the White House sent her questions for approval, Lawful-Sanders said yes. “I got several questions, eight of them, and the four that were chosen were the ones that I approved,” the radio host said.

Okay, and the reason I ask is not a criticism of either of you, it’s just that if the White House is trying now to prove the vim, vigor, acuity of the president, I don’t know how they do that by sending questions first, before the interview, so that the what’s coming,” Blackwell followed up.

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When asked for comment on Saturday, the a campaign spokesperson stated that the questions were provided by the campaign rather than White House aides, though they did not deny the claim. “We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions,” Biden Campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt told CNN.

“It’s not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. These questions were relevant to the news of the day – the president was asked about this debate performance as well as what he’d delivered for black Americans,” she said.

A campaign staffer later alleged that the campaign will no longer be providing interviewers with questions in advance. “While interview hosts have always been free to ask whatever questions they please, moving forward we will refrain from offering suggested questions,” a source familiar with President Biden’s booking schedule told CNN.

It has long been speculated that President Biden has received questions in advance throughout his presidency.

After delivering remarks to world leaders in Vietnam last year, Biden retrieved a sheet of paper from his jacket and stated that he had been given a pre-approved list of reporters to call on. “Let me see, they told me, they gave me five people here,” the president said while rummaging through papers.

In June of last year,  Biden appeared to be holding a “cheat sheet” that contained pre-approved questions, as well as the best way to answer them, during a meeting with wind industry leaders. The sheet of paper also included instructions for basic tasks, such as “YOU enter the Roosevelt Room and say hello to participants,” and ending with “YOU depart.”

In another instance, the president again appeared to be holding a cheat sheet that contained a question from a Los Angeles Times reporter during a press conference this last April.

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Scoop Diggins