2nd local radio host says they were given questions ahead of Biden interview

"Yes, I was given some questions for Biden," Earl Ingram told ABC News.

July 6, 2024, 3:02 PM

A second local radio host on Saturday told ABC News that he was provided a list of questions in advance of his interview with President Joe Biden this week.

"Yes, I was given some questions for Biden," Earl Ingram of CivicMedia told ABC News. Ingram, a prominent host of a Wisconsin radio station, interviewed Biden this week in the wake of his debate performance.

Ingram said he was given five questions and ended up asking four of them.

"I didn't get a chance to ask him all the things I wanted to ask," he said.

Ingram is the second interviewer who now says they were provided questions by Biden aides to ask the president this week. Earlier today, another local radio host who interviewed Biden this week told CNN she was given questions to ask Biden before the interview.

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Sherman Middle School, on July 5, 2024, in Madison, Wisconsin.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Ingram told ABC he didn't see anything necessarily wrong with the practice. "To think that I was gonna get an opportunity to ask any question to the President of the United States, I think, is a bit more than anybody should expect," he said.

He continued that he was grateful for the opportunity to interview Biden at all.

"Certainly the fact that they gave me this opportunity ... meant a lot to me," Ingram said.

On CNN earlier Saturday, Andrea Lawful-Sanders, the host of WURD's "The Source," said Biden officials provided her with a list of eight questions ahead of their interview with Biden.

"The questions were sent to me for approval; I approved of them," she said.

"I got several questions — eight of them," she continued. "And the four that were chosen were the ones that I approved."

Responding to Lawful-Sanders, Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt said in a statement that it's not "uncommon" for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. She noted that Lawful-Sanders was "free" to ask any questions she saw fit. She also noted that it was the campaign that sent over the questions and not the White House as other reports claim.

"It's not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. These questions were relevant to news of the day - the president was asked about this debate performance as well as what he'd delivered for black Americans," the statement said.

"We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions, and hosts are always free to ask the questions they think will best inform their listeners. In addition to these interviews, the President also participated in a press gaggle yesterday as well as an interview with ABC. Americans have had several opportunities to see him unscripted since the debate."

A source familiar with the Biden booking operation told ABC News that moving forward they will "refrain" from offering suggested questions to interviewers.

"While interview hosts have always been free to ask whatever questions they please, moving forward we will refrain from offering suggested questions."

Another local radio host, Sherwin Hughes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said that when he interviewed Biden last month, the White House did not send him questions to ask, and he said there were no preconditions on the interviews — "none of that at all," he told ABC News.

He said beforehand, he and the White House did discuss general topics he wanted to cover during the interview, including the Affordable Care Act, and the White House relayed what he described as "the message points that they wanted to communicate," including how Biden differed from Trump.

Darian Morgan, who goes by the name "Big Tigger" on Atlanta's V-103, interviewed Biden in May and told ABC News that he was sent "sample questions" but it was "never a directive" to stick to them.

"They did send me some sample questions, but by no means was there an absolute directive to stick to those questions," Morgan told ABC News.

Morgan said the process was not unlike other interviews he has done, saying it's "not an uncommon practice."

"In my history of interviewing elected officials, a lot of people like to do that," he said.

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