WaPo reporter accuses White House of lying about Naomi Biden’s wedding

The White House’s gamble on media access to first grandchild Naomi Biden’s wedding this past weekend has been too much for some reporters to take — with one Washington Post writer comparing the administration to Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

WaPo national correspondent Ashley Parker was one of several reporters who expressed outrage after the press was locked out of Naomi Biden’s “private” wedding — only for Vogue to publish a photo spread of the blushing 28-year-old bride alongside first lady Jill Biden on Tuesday.

“I had a report [October] about Vogue being tapped to cover this and I was waved off.” outraged New York Times correspondent Katie Rogers. “The official explanation is that Vogue was not there on the day. Smuthul = the family staged a ‘wedding at the WH’ shoot beforehand. ‘Private’ per @PressSec = not for the White House press corps.”

“I spent four years covering the Trump WH and two years covering the Biden WH,” Parker tweeted in response to Rogers. “The fascinating thing is that they are both lying, albeit in [very] different paths. The Trump team was shameless, whereas the Biden team is too sweet by half.”

President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden pose with Naomi Biden and husband Peter Neal
Naomi Biden, the granddaughter of President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, married Peter Neal at the White House on Saturday.
2022 Adam Schultz/The White House

Speaking about the Vogue controversy on Tuesday, Jean-Pierre denied the outlet was given exclusive access to the ceremony.

“Vogue did not attend the wedding … there was no press access,” Jean-Pierre insisted. “Vogue did a portrait shoot Thursday afternoon” and “embargoed it until today to allow ample time for the photos to be in the public domain.”

Still, Parker doubled down, claiming it wasn’t the first lie told by the Biden administration.

“TO BE CLEAR: Not all lies are created equal, and the size, frequency and brazenness are certainly different. But the Biden WH, for example, has also renounced [sic] us from proper reporting on Biden’s SCOTUS election, his Egypt trip, participants in private meetings, etc. tweeted.

Ashley Parker
Ashley Parker, a national correspondent for the Washington Post, accused the White House of lying after the media was locked out of Naomi Biden’s “private” wedding.
Washington Post via Getty Images

The White House later hit back at one of Parker’s claims, insisting that the Washington Post had reported on Biden’s post-midterm Egypt trip before it was confirmed.

“To be clear, the Washington Post reported that a trip was confirmed before it was. We told you on the record that it was not confirmed,” assistant press secretary Abdullah Hassan tweeted. “We even offered WaPo the exclusive if and when it was confirmed. We would never compromise our credibility, especially over something like planning.”

Meanwhile, a number of other reporters at left-leaning outlets also took to Twitter to call out the White House for misleading reporters about Naomi’s wedding coverage.

“We cover the little lies politicians tell because they can make way for bigger ones, for people who wonder why this is news,” wrote Rogers’ Times colleague Maggie Haberman. “That’s what the press is supposed to do.”

The Vogue cover
A number of journalists took to Twitter to air their grievances just hours after Vogue published the exclusive wedding spread featuring Jill and Naomi Biden.
Norman Jean Roy
Naomi Biden
The White House insisted that there was no press access to the wedding itself.

“I think we all knew this was going to happen, but if they wouldn’t let the pool photographers in because the rights had been sold, we should have known.” complained Niels Lesniewski of name calling.

A Vogue spokesperson told The Post on Wednesday that the magazine did not pay for the exclusive access. Administration representatives did not immediately respond to requests for further comment, including whether the White House approached Vogue about covering the rare event.

The magazine’s longtime editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, has strong connections to the administration and the Democratic Party. Vogue has previously featured Jill Biden solo on its August 2021 cover and Vice President Kamala Harris on the same spot last February — albeit using an image that reportedly angered Harris.

Naomi, whose father is scandal-plagued first son Hunter Biden, married her now-husband Peter Neal, 25, in front of 250 family members and friends on the South Lawn.

While the photos included in the Vogue spread were shot 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.

Naomi and Jill Biden
The photo shoot involving Naomi Biden and her grandmother, first lady Jill Biden, was done in the run-up to the wedding, the White House said.
Norman Jean Roy

Elsewhere in the piece, Naomi described her White House nuptials as a “backyard wedding.”

“We’re so close to our families, so we always knew we’d get married in someone’s backyard,” Naomi told the magazine. “I think if my pop 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 venue.

There have been 19 White House weddings, with all others in the modern era receiving some form of regular press coverage.

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