When does an event where the president is supposed to take questions become an event with no questions? In Brasilia, Brazil.
President Obama arrived in the capital city of Brazil on Saturday morning to have his first one-on-one meeting with Brazilian President Rousseff and have what the press corps calls a "joint press availability" implying the two leaders would take questions. But that has been changed - the availability has become "statements" and no questions.
Fox News White House correspondent Mike Emanuel reports that even though there's been a huge amount of speculation from the U.S. and foreign press that the Brazilian President does not want to take questions because of Thursday's vote in the Security Council on a no-fly zone in Libya, the White House does not believe that is the case. At that vote, Brazil, who is campaigning for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council abstained from voting on the issue of a no-fly zone in Libya.
Emanuel says a White House aide insists this is not a new development but that President Rousseff has been against taking questions "for weeks." There's the possibility that Rousseff, brand new to the job of president, could be anxious about answering questions from the foreign press, but according to Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal, who was reporting for the entire White House Press Corps, a press officer in the Brazilian foreign ministry says Rousseff just doesn't take questions. "It's not her way. She didn't do it with the prime minister of East Timor either," the press aide said.