Radio station parts ways with host who asked Biden questions drafted by his team

A Philadelphia radio host who got a rare opportunity to exclusively interview President Biden last week is no longer with the Black-owned station after she admitted she used questions that the Biden campaign provided in advance.

Host Andrea Lawful-Sanders and the station “mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately,” WURD Radio CEO Sara M. Lomax said in a statement explaining that Lawful-Sanders had arranged the interview “without knowledge, consultation or collaboration with WURD management.”

“WURD Radio remains an independent voice that our audience can trust will hold elected officials accountable,” Lomax said. “This is something we take very seriously. Agreeing to a pre-determined set of questions jeopardizes that trust and is not a practice that WURD Radio engages in or endorses as a matter of practice or official policy.”

In a video posted to Facebook, Lawful-Sanders thanked listeners “for the part that you played in this journey.”

“Life is moving. Things are shifting and changing and in a day or so you’ll hear more,” Lawful-Sanders said.

Lawful-Sanders revealed the terms of her interview during an appearance on CNN’s “First of All” on Saturday. Host Victor Blackwell remarked that her interview and an interview Biden did with a Black radio host in Wisconsin had been similar and asked whether Biden’s team was involved in drafting the questions.

“The questions were sent to me for approval,” Lawful-Sanders said. “I got several questions — eight of them … and the four chosen were the ones that I approved.”

Biden’s team defended the move after Lawful-Sanders’s CNN interview gained traction.

“It’s not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer,” campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt said in a statement Saturday. “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.”

“Hosts are always free to ask the questions they think will best inform their listeners,” she added.

The Philadelphia radio interview was one of two Biden’s team booked in the wake of the president’s disastrous debate performance June 27. During his debate against former President Trump, Biden at times appeared disoriented and sounded raspy.

At 81, Biden is the oldest sitting U.S. president. If he wins a second term, he would end his presidency at age 86.

After the debate, several Democrats have publicly and privately urged Biden to drop out of the race to allow another candidate to take the party’s nomination and face Trump in November.

Biden’s schedule over the past week, including campaign events, the radio interviews and a sit-down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, has done little to assure the naysayers, but Biden has been steadfast in staying in the race.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Biden said Monday during a defiant call to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” talk show. “I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t absolutely believe that I’m the best candidate to beat Donald Trump in 2024.”

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