Jen Psaki says Joe Biden calls Obama regularly but transcripts won't be released, Internet says 'scary stuff'
While the White House normally releases transcripts of a sitting president's phone calls with foreign leaders and dignitaries, there is no such rule or obligation when it comes to calls between current and former leaders
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed during a daily briefing on Tuesday, April 6, that President Joe Biden speaks to former POTUS Barack Obama on a regular basis. However, no transcripts of their phone calls will be provided to the press as what they discuss is their private matter, said Psaki.
Fox News host Maria Bartiromo recently cited her sources to claim: “I know Biden’s on the phone all the time with Obama and I’m hearing he’s running things from behind the scenes.” A reporter asked Psaki whether Biden had received any advice from Obama regarding his proposed infrastructure bill and on possible ways to pass the bill.
"They speak regularly," Psaki revealed. "They, of course, were president and vice-president but they are also friends. And they share a bond of serving through eight years of the Obama-Biden administration. But also personal friendship and kinship. He speaks with him regularly but we’re not gonna read out those calls." While the White House normally releases transcripts of a sitting president's phone calls with foreign leaders and dignitaries, there is no such rule or obligation when it comes to calls between the current and former leaders.
Jenn Psaki says Biden and Obama speak often... but they won't offer a readout of those calls: it's no one's business what they talk about. pic.twitter.com/n9TkedR4Lu— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) April 6, 2021
However, many on social media did not agree with Psaki. "This is a government worker using government services, we have a right to know!" one of them said while another wrote, "Where are the leaks? We knew everything when Trump was president. Where is the media leaks?" A third quipped, "Hmmmm. Shadow government anyone. Sorta scary stuff." The next remarked, "Of course they do it’s Obama’s 3rd term! He tells lap dog Joe what to do and he does it! Good boy Joe good boy!" A commenter tweeted, "It sure is our business to know what they are talking about. If Obama is calling the shots, no one voted for that! I think it's time to sue for those phone records!"
This is a government worker using government services, we have a right to know!— Ken Hebden (@HebdenKen) April 6, 2021
It’s everyone’s business what they talk about— Klaus Elliott (@psp1323) April 6, 2021
Well, Joe can't really function well so he has to talk to someone whos willing to listen to him and provide him some talking points. 😆— nottevenclose (@nottevenclose2) April 6, 2021
Where are the leaks? We knew everything when Trump was president. Where is the media leaks?— Skeeter (@Skeeter7777) April 6, 2021
Hmmmm. Shadow government anyone. Sorta scary stuff.— bluska (@bluskabucknut) April 6, 2021
Of course they do it’s Obama’s 3rd term! He tells lap dog Joe what to do and he does it! Good boy Joe good boy!— Jovan (@Jovan333) April 6, 2021
It sure is our business to know what they are talking about. If Obama is calling the shots, no one voted for that! I think it's time to sue for those phone records!— Rob (@boomer1400) April 6, 2021
Obama and Biden's 'bromance'
The fact that Biden gives his old friend and ex-boss frequent calls is not surprising as their well-documented "bromance" over the years that they served together, gave birth to a string of memes and gifs on social media. Obama called Biden a "brother" while presenting him with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction in 2017.
In an interview that aired the same day, Biden told NBC of their friendship - "I don’t like him, I love him." Obama had even offered him personal financial help as Biden's family dealt with the illness and subsequent death of one of his sons, Beau Biden. While they didn't always agree on decisions, they pushed each other to make the most informed choices possible.
They also remained buddies after the pair left the White House in 2017 to make way for former President Donald Trump's administration. This is why Obama's decision to not endorse a particular Democratic candidate early on in the 2020 race had raised speculations about his ties with Biden. The then-Democratic frontrunner, however, in his opening campaign speech had made it clear that he had asked Obama "not to endorse him." "Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merit,” the former vice president had said.
Obama did eventually endorse Biden on Tuesday, April 14, for the White House run. "I’m proud to endorse my friend @JoeBiden for President of the United States," the former president wrote on Twitter. "Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now," he said in a 12-minute video.