ABC, NBC, NPR Reporters Try to Aid White House After Biden Brain Blunder

Friday saw the first White House press briefing after President Biden’s embarrassing and disastrous press conference to address his mental acuity following a special counsel report that questioned it. While some questions posed a challenge for White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and White House Counsel Office Spokesman Ian Sams, others were more interested in how the White House was going to rehabilitate the public’s perception of Biden; one even tried to give them an easy out to explain away his cognitive decline.

After a few questions about the report Re. the classified documents in Biden’s garage, NBC senior White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Kelly O’Donnell asked the first question about Biden’s brain.

O’Donnell’s primary concern was how the White House was planning to undo the public’s perception that he wasn’t mentally fit for office, which many polls showed (Click “expand”):

O’DONNELL: On the many issues related to memory, they certainly seem to prompt an angry response from the President and from his advocates. Is there anything being done to address that issue in an ongoing way?

Obviously, counsel wrote to ask for some of those things to be removed. It is potential that Robert Hur could be called before Congress to testify in public.

Are there any steps that the administration would take addressing that specific issue? Is it in relation to overall medical physicians report of the President or other things to demonstrate what is the issue with memory and is it a factor that deals with his capacity to serve?

SAMS: Well, I have a lot of issues with the contents of that question. Karine answered a lot about the President’s transparency and his medical records and his physical and things of that nature. And I leave that to Karine to handle.

National Public Radio’s Tamara Keith had similar concerns she wanted to be reassured of. “How concerned is the President and the team here that the, quote, ‘gratuitous’ comments are going to damage him, damage public perception of him?” she asked Sams. “I think the public is smart. They can see what’s going on,” he responded.

Keith was so set on trying to help the White House that she didn’t seem to appreciate even innocuous questions; showing open disdain for questions that got close to the controversy. The Washington Post’s Tyler Pager asked this fair question looking for more context for how Biden’s son Beau came up as a topic of conversation during the interview:

Just one quick follow-up. The President was animated last night. Rejecting the idea that he did not remember when his son died. Can you provide a little bit more context about – was he directly asked in the interview by the special counsel for the dates; was it a part of a broader conversation? I just need some additional context to understand what is in that report, might be helpful.

As Pager was asking his question, Keith was sitting right next to him and could be seen making faces and shaking her head at him (check out the included video).

ABC’s Selina Wang tried to give Sams an easy out to explain why the President had “memory lapses” in the interview. She tried to hand him the excuse that he was mentally distracted by the events of October 7, but Sams was either oblivious to the aid or too proud to accept it:

WANG: And you had just mentioned how these interviews happened shortly after the October 7th attacks. The President mentioned it last night. Mentioning that, does that mean that possible memory lapses happened because he was so distracted by what was happening overseas? Or do you dispute that you had any memory issues during those hours of interviews?

SAMS: I dispute that the characterizations about his memory that were in the report are accurate because they’re not.

Surprisingly, one of the fastballs came from CBS correspondent Weijia Jiang, who drew attention to the White House’s hypocritical praise for the non-indictment outcome vs. the rejection of the findings critical of the President’s mental acuity (Click “expand”):

JIANG: So, you are discrediting some of the findings in the report. You are discrediting some of the observations of President Biden. So why should the American public accept the conclusion that charges were not warranted?

SAMS: I’m not sure I understand exactly what you’re asking.

JIANG: I’m saying, you are claiming much of the report is inaccurate. So, why are you so confident that the conclusion is correct?

SAMS [interrupting]: The conclusion’s been obvious from the very beginning. It was a long, intensive, sort of meandering investigation that came to the conclusion that, in February of last year, everybody knew that this wasn’t intentional. That this was an accident.

Doocy Time came late in the briefing as a seemingly exhausted Jean-Pierre called on Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy last. He immediately struck a nerve with this zinger: “If the special counsel says President Biden has got significant limitations on his memory, then who is helping him run the country?” “The president runs the country. The commander-in-chief runs the country,” she shot back in a noticeably annoyed tone.

Jean-Pierre also didn’t appreciate his questions about the nuclear codes, his constant public blunderings, and if they were accusing the special counsel of lying about the president in the report (Click “expand”):

DOOCY: How can he be trusted with nuclear codes if – I get that you’re saying nobody that nobody in the building would say that he’s got an issue with his memory, but just the little part of what we get to see, he has made mistake after mistake after mistake on camera, this week.

JEAN-PIERRE: So, I’m going to be very clear here. [Long pause] Reality is, that report – that part of the report does not live in reality. It just doesn’t.

DOOCY: So, the special counsel is lying about the President’s memory?

JEAN-PIERRE: It was gratuitous. You heard from Ian Sams, my colleague. It is unacceptable. And it does not live in reality. That is just the facts.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below. Click “expand” to read:

CSPAN – White House Press Briefing
February 9, 2024
2:02:14 p.m.

(…)

KELLY O’DONNELL: On the many issues related to memory, they certainly seem to prompt an angry response for the President and from his advocates. Is there anything being done to address that issue in an ongoing way?

Obviously, counsel wrote to ask for some of those things to be removed. It is potential that Robert Hur could be called before Congress to testify in public.

Are there any steps that the administration would take addressing that specific issue? Is it in relation to overall medical physicians report of the President or other things to demonstrate what is the issue with memory and is it a factor that deals with his capacity to serve?

IAN SAMS: Well, I have a lot of issues with the contents of that question. Karine answered a lot about the President’s transparency and his medical records and his physical and things of that nature. And I leave that to Karine to handle.

(…)

2:03:55 p.m. Eastern

WEIJIA JIANG: So, you are discrediting some of the findings in the report. You are discrediting some of the observations of President Biden. So why should the American public accept the conclusion that charges were not warranted?

SAMS: I’m not sure I understand exactly what you’re asking.

JIANG: I’m saying, you are claiming much of the report is inaccurate. So, why are you so confident that the conclusion is correct?

SAMS [interrupting]: The conclusion’s been obvious from the very beginning. It was a long, intensive, sort of meandering investigation that came to the conclusion that, in February of last year, everybody knew that this wasn’t intentional. That this was an accident.

(…)

2:06:34 p.m. Eastern

TAMARA KEITH: How concerned is the President and the team here that the, quote, “gratuitous” comments are going to damage him, damage public perception of him?

SAMS: I think the public is smart. They can see what’s going on.

(…)

2:09:17 p.m. Eastern

TYLER PAGER: Just one quick follow-up. The President was animated last night. Rejecting the idea that he did not remember when his son died. Can you provide a little bit more context about – was he directly asked in the interview by the special counsel for the dates, was a part of a broader conversation? I just need some additional context to understand what is in that report, might be helpful.

(…)

2:10:53 p.m. Eastern

SELINA WANG: And you had just mentioned how these interviews happened shortly after the October 7th attacks. The President mentioned it last night. Mentioning that, does that mean that possible memory lapses happened because he was so distracted by what was happening overseas? Or do you dispute that you had any memory issues during those hours of interviews?

SAMS: I dispute that the characterizations about his memory that were in the report are accurate because they’re not.

(…)

2:49:00 p.m. Eastern

PETER DOOCY: Thank you, Karine. If the special counsel says President Biden has got significant limitations on his memory, then who is helping him run the country?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: The president runs the country. The commander-in-chief runs the country.

DOOCY: How can he be trusted with nuclear codes if – I get that you’re saying nobody that nobody in the building would say that he’s got an issue with his memory, but just the little part of what we get to see, he has made mistake after mistake after mistake on camera, this week.

JEAN-PIERRE: So, I’m going to be very clear here. [Long pause] Reality is, that report – that part of the report does not live in reality. It just doesn’t.

DOOCY: So, the special counsel is lying about the President’s memory?

JEAN-PIERRE: It was gratuitous. You heard from Ian Sams, my colleague. It is unacceptable. And it does not live in reality. That is just the facts.

(…)

Articles You May Like

Will Biden’s Age Finish His Campaign?
Suddenly, Politico Discovers DC’s ‘Ugliest Protest Trend’ When Blinken’s Targeted
Red Cross Tacitly Concedes Blood of COVID Vax-Injected Is Tainted
What I learned from my talk with Tucker Carlson
STUNNING AND BRAVE: ABC News Fangirls Over Fani Willis

Leave a Comment - No Links Allowed:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *