Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign kicked reporters off a video fundraiser call with Wall Street donors Thursday night, despite having, for some time, been touting the open fundraisers as proof of the former vice president's transparency.
Just after Biden gave brief remarks to the donors, criticizing President Donald Trump's oversight of the coronavirus pandemic, reporters were kicked off the call when he opened the floor for questions, reports Time.
Biden had until Thursday allowed a pool of reporters to attend events, and for a pool to watch virtual fundraisers on Zoom. Thursday night, however, the pool was given just a call-in line, so they could not see who was at the event.
In a dispatch in her pool reports, NBC's Marianna Sotomayor wrote that she was kicked out "when Biden said he was ready to take questions from any of the 25 donors present," reports Axios.
She added that "reporters heard Biden over the phone, not through Zoom as has been common practice in the virtual campaign era."
The fundraiser was hosted by Roger Altman, the founder of Evercore Inc., Blair Effron, founder of Centerview Partners, Deven Parekh, managing director of Insight Partners, and former Ambassador Jane Hartley, reports Time.
Rufus Gifford, Biden's deputy campaign manager, said in a statement that the event was a "new format as we enter a new phase of the general election campaign, but we will continue to ensure press access to our virtual finance events as part of our campaign’s commitment to transparency — one that vastly exceeds anything that Donald Trump and his campaign have offered the American people."
The left has often criticized Biden for his relationship with Wall Street, including last month, when Bloomberg News reported that former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a former chief economist of the World Bank, was advising his campaign.
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