WH presser in disarray as deputy spox ducks out without taking questions, another official a no-show

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates held a press conference Monday to address questions on President Biden’s 2023 budget proposal and, according to PBS, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was expected to participate as well.

And while Sullivan was nowhere to be seen, Bates was joined by Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, and Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse. Both Young and Rouse fielded questions, but Bates did not.

Just over 20 minutes in, Bates or someone else is heard saying they had a 4:15 engagement and had to go, informing reporters that if they had any more questions to send them in.

One overriding question, which was shouted out, was: “Where’s Jake Sullivan? What happened to Jake Sullivan?”

“Mid-level Biden staffer runs out of his own press briefing without answering a single question. SAD!” tweeted Republican National Committee Research.

The GOP tweet was clearly in reference to Bates, but the clip shared featured Rouse still at the podium — Bates never returned after yielding the floor to the women.

The CEA chair was captured doing an iconic side step as reporters hurled questions at Bates. It all made for plenty of online jocularities… here’s a sampling of some of the responses to the story from Twitter:

The full press conference can be seen here:


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