The following article, Terrified Administration Officials Try to Pull Biden Away as He Speaks to Media on Air Force One, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Imagine working in an environment where every subordinate tried to prevent humiliating and calamitous consequences every time the boss spoke.
On Wednesday, reporters on board Air Force One at Ramstein Air Base in Germany had the rare opportunity to ask questions of President Joe Biden.
During the bizarre scene that ensued, Biden administration officials both looked and acted nervous about what might come out of the president’s mouth.
The White House released a transcript of the full press gaggle. As always, the underpaid White House transcriptionist must have worked overtime to turn Biden’s spoken comments into readable text.
The transcript, however, does not convey the anxious looks on the faces of administration officials. For that, we need the following video:
The transcript revealed that by the time this video began, the president had answered only a handful of questions.
While Biden spoke about Egypt, Jordan and Gaza, several prominent administration officials stood behind him, including National Security Council official John Kirby, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
At the 38-second mark, Kirby looked in Blinken’s direction. Then, moments later, Jean-Pierre began texting. When she finished, she said something to Kirby.
As the president kept speaking, the look of anxiety on her face deepened. She looked back at Kirby, who gave her a small nod. Seconds later, she opened her mouth as if to interrupt Biden, then decided against it.
At that point, someone leaned over and whispered something in Kirby’s ear. Jean-Pierre looked at someone else and shook her head.
When the president finally stopped speaking for a moment, Jean-Pierre tried to put an end to the questions.
“All right. We’ve got to wrap up, guys. We’ve got to wrap it up,” the press secretary said.
The reporters ignored her and continued asking questions.
“All right –” Jean-Pierre began again, interrupting Biden. “Oops. Sorry, sir. I almost stepped on you.”
“Well, don’t. OK?” the president responded.
Jean-Pierre appeared frazzled. Kirby stood as if poised to actually grab Biden or at least insert himself between the president and the reporters. Both shot looks in Blinken’s direction.
Biden, however, paid no attention to his anxious officials.
A few minutes later, the president gave a bizarre and platitude-filled response to a question about meeting with victims and first responders. He rubbed his chin, spoke slowly and paused as if trying to gather his thoughts.
At one point, he said, “I always get criticized sometimes by my staff because when I go to these events” — events involving victims of tragedies — “I stay for three or four hours and answer all their questions.”
He said that. The man who responded “no comment” when asked about the Maui wildfire actually said that. The man who waited 13 days to visit Maui and then, when he finally did go, compared the wildfire to a small kitchen fire he once had at his home — he actually praised himself for showing an overabundance of empathy.
Small wonder his subordinates cannot wait to hustle him away from cameras and microphones.
On March 4, 1865 — the day of President Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration — Andrew Johnson, the incoming vice president, showed up drunk and delivered a strange, slobbering speech on his own humble origins.
“I can never forget President Lincoln’s face as he came into the Senate Chamber while Johnson was delivering his incoherent harangue. … He took his seat facing the brilliant and surprised audience, and heard all that took place with unutterable sorrow,” Secretary of State John Forney later recalled.
”Don’t let Johnson speak outside,” Lincoln reportedly ordered a marshal.
Biden administration officials have a difficult job. Perhaps they can take comfort in the knowledge that Abraham Lincoln would share their anxiety over the current president’s embarrassing public utterances.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.