White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said President Biden and former President Barack Obama talk “regularly” but refused to say how often to avoid “violating” the privacy of their friendship.
The relationship between Biden and his boss of eight years has been a point of intrigue in Washington. Obama lives only about 2 miles from the White House, though Psaki appeared to indicate they speak primarily by phone.
“How involved is former President Obama and first lady Obama in the Biden-Harris administration?” journalist Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade asked Psaki at her daily press briefing.
Psaki said, “They’re not just former colleagues, I guess you’d call them as president and vice president, but they also remain close friends, and they talk regularly about a range of issues from policy issues to bouncing ideas off of each other to their families. So, they are in close touch but we just don’t read out those specific calls. We keep them private.”
Ed O’Keefe of CBS News pressed Psaki for more information.
“Can you more clearly define ‘fairly regularly’?” O’Keefe asked.
“No, that would be violating their friendship — the privacy of their friendship, I should say,” Psaki said.
O’Keefe asked if Biden is regularly in touch with any of the other four living ex-presidents, two of whom are Democrats.
“I would say he is the president he is most frequent — former president he’s most frequently in touch with,” Psaki said.
When O’Keefe asked again how often Obama and Biden communicate, Psaki said, “I’m not going to define it more other than to say that they engage not just about important moments in our country but also about their own families. They have a connection on a personal level. So they discuss a range of issues when they connect.”