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President Obama Answers White House Reporters At Briefing For First Time In Two Months

08/20/2012 01:56 pm ET | Updated Aug 20, 2012

President Obama formally took questions from White House reporters on Monday, for the first time in two months.

His appearance in the White House briefing room had not been announced ahead of time. Obama took questions from four reporters, including CBS News' Nancy Cordes, ABC News' Jake Tapper and NBC News' Chuck Todd.

He weighed in on Rep. Todd Akin's recent comments about rape, a controversial super PAC ad, the war in Afghanistan and the conflict in Syria.

The briefing lasted twenty-one minutes. At the end, a chorus of reporters thanked the president. "Don't be a stranger," Tapper yelled after him.

The Obama campaign had been facing growing criticism over the president's avoidance of the White House press corps in recent months. He held his last press conference at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico on June 19. His last formal White House presser was on March 6.

The frustration among the press seemed to reach a tipping point last week, when several reporters voiced their irritation with Obama's interviews with "People" and "Entertainment Tonight." MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell also grilled the campaign over the issue, and Obama spokesperson Stephanie Cutter faced questions about it again over the weekend.

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