The White House’s gamble on media access to Naomi Biden’s first granddaughter’s wedding last weekend was too much for some reporters — with one Washington Post writer comparing the administration to Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
WaPo National Correspondent Ashley Parker was one of several journalists to express outrage after no press was available for Naomi Biden’s ‘private’ wedding – only for Vogue to publish a leaked photo of the blushing 28-year-old bride alongside First Lady Jill Biden on Tuesday.
“I had a report [October] about Vogue being chosen to cover this and being rejected,” snarled the New York Times correspondent Katie Rogers. “The official explanation is that Vogue was not there on the day of. Doorway = family organizes “WH wedding” photos in advance. ‘Personal’ to @PressSec = not to the White House press.”
“I spent four years covering Trump’s WH and two years covering Biden’s WH,” Parker tweeted in response to Rogers. “The fascinating thing is that they are both lying, albeit inside [very] different ways. Team Trump was shameless, while Team Biden is too cute by half.
Jean-Pierre addressed the Vogue controversy on Tuesday, denying the publication had been granted exclusive access to the ceremony.
“Vogue was not present at the wedding … there was no press access,” insisted Jean-Pierre. “Vogue took a portrait shot on Thursday afternoon” and “embargoed it until today to allow enough time for the photos to be made public.”
However, Parker doubled down and said this was not the first lie told by the Biden administration.
“TO BE CLEAR: Not all lies are created equal, and the scale, frequency, and audacity certainly vary. But the Biden WH, for example, also gave up [sic] we’re excluding proper reporting on Biden’s SCOTUS pick, his trip to Egypt, private meeting attendees, etc.,” she tweeted.
The White House later hit back at one of Parker’s claims, insisting that the Washington Post reported on Biden’s post-midterm visit to Egypt before it was confirmed.
“To be clear, the Washington Post reported that the trip was previously confirmed. We told you on the record that it was not confirmed,” the assistant press secretary said Abdullah Hassan tweeted. “We’ve even offered WaPo the exclusive if and when it’s confirmed. We would never compromise our credibility, especially not over something like a schedule.”
Meanwhile, a slew of other reporters at left-leaning outlets also took to Twitter to call out the White House for misleading reporters about its coverage of Naomi’s wedding.
“We cover the little lies politicians tell because they can give way to bigger ones, for people who wonder why it’s news,” writes Rogers’ Times colleague Maggie Haberman. “That’s what the press is supposed to do.”
“I think we all knew it was going to happen, but if they didn’t let the pool photographers in because the rights were sold, we should have known.” Nils Lesniewski complained on roll call.
A Vogue spokesperson told The Post on Wednesday that the magazine did not pay for the exclusive access. Administration officials did not immediately respond to requests for further comment, including whether the White House had approached Vogue about covering the rare event.
The magazine’s longtime editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, has strong ties to the administration and the Democratic Party. Vogue previously featured Jill Biden solo on its August 2021 cover and Vice President Kamala Harris on the same spot last February — albeit using a photo that reportedly angered Harris.
Naomi, whose father is scandal-plagued first son Hunter Biden, married Peter Neal, 25, in front of 250 family members and friends on the South Lawn.
While the photos featured in Vogue were taken before the big day, the 1,800-word article detailed key moments – including how Naomi was walked down the aisle by her parents, Hunter and his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle.
Elsewhere in the piece, Naomi describes her White House wedding as a “backyard” wedding.
“We’re so close with our families, so we always knew we’d be getting married in someone’s backyard,” Naomi told the magazine. “I think if my dad wasn’t president, it would probably be their house in Wilmington or Peter’s family’s backyard in Jackson [Wyoming].”
“There’s just such beauty and history in this place, and we really wanted to honor that,” she added of the unique White House location.
There have been 19 weddings held at the White House, with all others in the modern era receiving some form of regular press coverage.