Joe Biden smirks about Americans stuck in Afghanistan, Internet calls it 'obscene'
At a time when President Joe Biden's approval ratings are abysmally low, he is doing more to plunge them even lower. On Wednesday, August 25, when a reporter asked him a question about the ongoing evacuation of Americans from Afghanistan, it appears Biden might have had a sarcastic response up his sleeve. Be as that may be, viewers couldn’t even hear his response because the audio feed from the White House cut out, strategically editing out the president's live response.
On social media, many critics of Biden are tweeting about the president's latest fumble and it is safe to say that they are not being kind. On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, just as Biden was wrapping up the public portion of a cybersecurity event, NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander asked him, "Mr. President, if Americans are still in Afghanistan after the [Aug. 31 withdrawal] deadline, what will you do?" In response, Biden smirked.
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You can watch the video of the interaction here:
REPORTER: “If Americans are still in Afghanistan after the deadline what will you do?”— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 25, 2021
*White House cuts audio feed* pic.twitter.com/k0SGWhpXm6
One can see that initially, Biden ignored the question after the smirk. The reporter had to ask again, "Sir, what will you do if Americans are still there after the deadline?" Immediately afterwards, the White House audio feed was cut off. It was when Alexander tweeted about the exchange that Biden's response was finally shared with the public. "I asked President Biden what he will do if Americans are still in Afghanistan after the 8/31 deadline. His response: 'You’ll be the first person I call.' Took no questions."
I asked President Biden what he will do if Americans are still in Afghanistan after the 8/31 deadline.— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) August 25, 2021
His response: “You’ll be the first person I call.”
Took no questions. pic.twitter.com/MlyFIayrMZ
An official White House transcript confirmed the statement. Biden reportedly made the joke shortly before Secretary of State Antony Blinken estimated that up to 1,500 American citizens remain in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and the withdrawal deadline (set by both the White House and the Islamic fundamentalist group) less than a week away.
On social media, many critics of Biden are accusing the White House staff of trying to shield the president. At the same time, some slammed him for his choice of response, especially during an international crisis.
“Oh my gosh they cut the President’s microphone so nobody could hear him answer,” added GOP communications specialist Matt Whitlock. “That’s how worried this White House is about Biden answering questions on Afghanistan.”
Oh my gosh they cut the President's microphone so nobody could hear him answer.— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) August 25, 2021
That's how worried this White House is about Biden answering questions on Afghanistan. https://t.co/1mGjxXCB9w
“Biden’s behavior in this is becoming obscene,” tweeted John Daniel Davidson, the political editor of The Federalist.
Biden’s behavior in this is becoming obscene. https://t.co/7f53DXziBy— John Daniel Davidson (@johnddavidson) August 26, 2021
“If he is serious, that’s an issue,” Sean Spicer, who served as White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump, reacted. “If he’s trying to be funny about something this serious and screwed up, that’s also an issue.” In another tweet, he wrote, "the White House 'cuts off audio of the feed' of the PRESIDENT - why? at some point will the feckless association that claims they care about media access say anything? cc @whca"
the White House "cuts off audio of the feed" of the PRESIDENT - why?— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) August 25, 2021
at some point will the feckless association that claims they care about media access say anything? cc @whca https://t.co/z4PGj6x8KX
“Americans were already worried that Joe Biden has no plan,” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “This won’t help.”
Americans were already worried that Joe Biden has no plan. This won't help. https://t.co/YHYz4TMdIY— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 25, 2021
“When Joe Biden does take questions, his handlers screen reporters and provide him a list of preapproved reporters to call on,” Cruz adviser Steve Guest chimed in. “Now, The White House is cutting the audio feed when a reporter tries to ask him a question. Operation Protect Joe Biden is in full swing.”
When Joe Biden does take questions, his handlers screen reporters and provide him a list of preapproved reporters to call on.— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 25, 2021
Now, The White House is cutting the audio feed when a reporter tries to ask him a question.
Operation Protect Joe Biden is in full swing. https://t.co/k0uDijIpfl