By Mimi Nguyen Ly
President Joe Biden on Wednesday was pictured holding a cheat sheet that showed he knew a reporter’s question in advance.
The incident took place in the White House Rose Garden as Biden was hosting South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on his first visit to the United States as the two nations have reached a nuclear weapons agreement, amid growing nuclear threats from North Korea. It also marked the two countries’ 70th anniversary of their alliance.
The small cheat sheet Biden was holding showed a question from Courtney Subramanian, a journalist from the Los Angeles Times.
The paper included a picture of the reporter and details on how to pronounce her surname. At the top of the sheet, a handwritten “Question #1” suggested that Biden should call on Subramanian first after making his speech at the joint press conference with Yoon.
The question on the piece of paper reads: “How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic priorities—like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing—with alliance-based foreign policy?”
Biden did call Subramanian to ask her question first.
She asked: “Your top economic priority has been to build up U.S. domestic manufacturing in competition with China, but your rules against expanding chip manufacturing in China is hurting South Korean companies that rely heavily on Beijing. Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the election?”
Subramanian, a long-term Washington correspondent, also directed a separate question for Yoon.
She was one of two journalists Biden called.
The other reporter, Mary Bruce from ABC, asked Biden whether he was too old to run again. It’s unclear whether Biden knew the question in advance.
A separate note Biden was holding showed the names of other Biden administration officials in the order of their remarks at the press conference.
Both notes were dated April 26, 2023.
This is the latest of several other incidents when Biden was pictured holding notes directing him what to do or who to address.
In November 2022, at a two-day G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, Biden had a cheat sheet that told him when to sit and when to take photos.
In June 2022, Biden had another cheat sheet when he was attending a meeting with executives from the wind industry.
In March 2022, when he was answering media questions over the war in Ukraine, Biden carried a cheat sheet that contained questions with potential responses on Vladimir Putin, coming after Biden had stated that Putin “cannot remain in power.” One of the questions said: “If you weren’t advocating for regime change, what did you mean? Can you clarify?”
Another asked: “Is this now threatening to splinter unity with your NATO allies?” A printed card had a prepared answer that read: “No. NATO has never been more united.”
In July 2021, Biden was given a handwritten message by an aide that said, “Sir, there is something on your chin,” according to a photo captured.
The message was received during a Zoom call with state governors, live-streamed while Biden was at the White House. After receiving the message, Biden was seen wiping his chin.