President Obama held a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday. The prime minister was invited to the final state dinner of Obama’s presidency.
During the press conference, Washington Post reporter David Nakamura asked the president about the effectiveness of his immigration policies regarding spikes in immigration in 2016 compared to lower numbers in 2014.
The president responded, (author emphasis added):
No. Actually David, they spiked heavily in 2014, went down significantly in 2015, have gone back up this year — in part because there’s still desperation in Central America — but are still not at the levels they were in 2014. But I appreciate you shouting out a question since I’m sure there are colleagues of yours who would want to do the same.
Nakamura did not shout his question until after the Italian and American press corps completed their question period. He posted on Twitter following the incident:
His fellow reporters responded with messaged of support:
The questioning format that is implemented when the president holds joint press conferences with foreign leaders has been heavily criticized, especially as it limits the quantity and quality of questions. Known as the two-and-two format, both the American and the foreign leader answer two questions from American reporters and two questions from foreign reporters.
(H/T The Hill)