Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET, 1/8/14
Washington (CNN) - One day after excerpts from a tell-all memoir penned by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates took Washington by storm, the White House is granting the press rare but limited access to a lunch between President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the daily schedule for the President released by the White House, still and television photographers will be allowed to capture images of Obama and Biden during what is normally a private meeting. The President and Vice President typically sit down for lunch once a week.
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A White House official said the decision to allow still photographers into the Obama-Biden lunch is a response to recent press criticism of White House policy on access to the president's events. Representatives of the news organizations covering Obama have complained the White House has at times relied to too heavily on its own official photographer in providing presidential images to the public.
"The reason we opened up the lunch is to make good on our promise to provide more access to photographers who cover the White House," a White House official said.
The official said the lunch press event is not tied to Gates' memoir, "Duty," which offers a blistering critique of the President, the Vice President, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One of the more potentially damaging criticisms in the released excerpts is aimed squarely at the Vice President.
"I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," Gates writes.
That verbal assault was rejected by the White House in a statement released by National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
"The President disagrees with Secretary Gates' assessment," Hayden said in the statement. "Joe Biden has been one of the leading statesmen of his time," she added.