Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 9, 2024

Biden Dodges Press Questions During Paris Speech On Hostage Rescue

President Joe Biden, in a surprising move, once again declined to take questions from the press during a brief appearance in Paris, leading to speculation about his intentions amid crucial announcements and diplomatic discussions.

During his state visit to France, Biden lauded the rescue of hostages from Gaza but skirted questions from reporters, amplifying suspicions about his motives and abilities, as the Daily Mail reports.

Standing by the Arc de Triomphe, Biden celebrated the safe return of four Israeli hostages and acknowledged the ongoing efforts to bring all hostages home and reach a ceasefire. This important diplomatic moment was punctuated by Biden’s choice to speak for a mere five minutes without fielding any questions from the press.

Hostage Rescue And Diplomacy Highlight Visit

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke for nine minutes during the joint appearance, addressing topics such as China, trade, and national security. President Biden reflected not only on the hostage rescue but also marked the D-Day anniversary, expressed gratitude to Macron for France's support of Ukraine, and discussed initiatives on reducing carbon emissions.

Without the traditional press conference, White House national security spokesman John Kirby offered no clear reason for the change, leading to further scrutiny. Answering only one question from the traveling press since his arrival in France on Wednesday, President Biden raised eyebrows with his limited engagement.

During the visit, Biden did grant an interview to ABC News, but his interaction with other members of the press remained minimal. His engagements included a non-public Wednesday after flying in from Washington, and a ceremonial welcome at the Arc de Triomphe with French President Macron.

Press Conference Omission Raises Questions

President Biden has faced criticism for not addressing pressing questions. When asked about the potential use of seized Russian assets to fund the war in Ukraine, he chose not to respond, adding to the speculation about his approach to handling the media.

Among those accompanying him, first lady Jill Biden’s presence was noted after returning from the U.S., adding a familial element to the state visit. Biden also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, apologizing for delays in military aid, reflecting his administration's ongoing commitment to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia.

Another key aspect of the visit included furthering discussions on critical issues ranging from Russia’s war in Ukraine to climate change and artificial intelligence. The agenda also covered supply chains, Indo-Pacific port security, and maritime law enforcement, underscoring the comprehensive nature of the diplomatic talks.

Biden's Visit Reflects U.S.-France Ties

The relationship between the U.S. and France remains pivotal. As Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, highlighted, France is one of the oldest and deepest allies of the U.S. Biden’s remarks echoed these sentiments, reflecting on historical ties and the mutual support between the two nations.

President Macron advocated for increased support for Ukraine and remains critical of Israel’s actions in Gaza, shaping the complex geopolitical landscape. The contentious issue of Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, seen as protectionist by European officials, remained a topic of concern.

During his speech in Normandy, Biden connected the D-Day spirit with the current global fight for democracy, drawing parallels between past and present conflicts. This historical context was meant to resonate deeply with both American and European audiences, linking tradition to contemporary diplomatic efforts.

Summarizing President Joe Biden's state visit to France, the rescue of four Israeli hostages from Gaza was a pivotal highlight. Despite celebrating this diplomatic success, Biden's refusal to engage with the press drew criticism and speculation.

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About Ashton Snyder

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