Conspiracy theories abound after Joe Biden says he was 'instructed' to call reporter

'Who's really in charge?' asked furious social media users after Biden reveals he was 'instructed' to call NBC reporter at press conference

                            Conspiracy theories abound after Joe Biden says he was 'instructed' to call reporter
Joe Biden with his head tilted down during a press meet on August 26 is being called a defining image of his presidency (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

For a long time now, there have been conspiracy theories that President Joe Biden has a team of "handlers". That theory gained a lot of steam on August 26, after a poor choice of words by none other than Biden himself. Biden's stunning revelation was quickly picked up by social media users, including Kayleigh McEnany and Stephen Miller. It didn't take very long for the news to go viral, as many people were left fuming.

The president has constantly had to stave off questions about his mental health, which has led to some hilarious and concerning gaffes. On August 11, a video from the White House emerged showing a Secret Service agent guiding Biden into the building. He's also been seen referring to notes, which led Trump's physician Ronny Jackson to demand a cognitive test. In April, Biden drew up a storm of controversy after saying "I’m really going to be in trouble," at another press conference.


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Throughout his tumultuous half a year in office, the president has on numerous occasions let it slip that he is definitely not in control. The Republican Party and conservatives have leaped on the opportunities, leaving the administration struggling to defend the president. On August 26, he did it yet again, leading to comparisons with Donald Trump.

US President Joe Biden speaks during an event on economic crisis in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 22, 2021, in Washington, DC.  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

'I was instructed' says President Joe Biden

Biden was addressing the press after 13 US service members were confirmed to have died in a bomb blast in Kabul hours earlier. "They gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O'Donnell of NBC," Biden said while looking down. The quick moment was captured and shared widely on social media, especially on Twitter by some Republicans. 



The moment came as Biden promised to "hunt down" the terrorists responsible for the brutal attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport. The press conference saw several memorable moments, including a now-viral photo of Biden with his head tilted down during an exchange with Fox's Peter Doocey. Several users were quick to call it the "defining image" of Biden's presidency. But that was quickly taken over by the instructed controversy. 

Social media users were quick to latch on and ask who exactly was running the show, as the handler conspiracy theory gained steam. It's not the first time Biden has been guided on calling journalists. In March during his first press conference, the president was photographed with a "cheat sheet" with the names and photos of all the reports, as well as an order in which to call them. As we reported back then, it appears to be part of a strategy to avoid direct confrontations between the President and critical journalists. 

U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters in the East Room of the White House on March 25, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


'Who's really in charge of White House?'

"The first person I was instructed to call upon? Who the hell is instructing this guy?" one person tweeted. Kayleigh McEnany said, "As White House Press Secretary, I NEVER instructed President Trump to call on a pre-determined list of reporters. President Trump could make decisions for himself, speak directly to the American people, and secure peace through strength..."




Stephen Miller also joined in the criticism, tweeting, ""They gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on..." Amazing. And everyone goes along with this." Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) tweeted, "Biden just said “I was instructed to call on” this reporter! Who instructed him to call on the reporter? Who's really in charge? Are you kidding me?" Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee joked, "Were reporters instructed what questions to ask?"





"Biden: “The first person I was instructed to call on is . . . .” Shame on the reporters on his approved list that play ball with this nonsense. Grow a spine and yield to a reporter that isn’t on his list," one person tweeted. Another user said, "“The first person I was instructed to call on…” Not the words of a confident person in charge of the situation."




As always, the White House has chosen to ignore the controversy, but silence doesn't appear to be a good strategy. The Afghanistan crisis has already seen Biden's rating tank in recent weeks, and the handler controversy has often overshadowed the successes of the administration. The controversy continues to indicate an administration in crisis, unable to handle the press, let alone a hostile takeover of a foreign nation. 

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