White House communications respond to Biden undermining report

Drew Angerer/Getty Images President Joe Biden seems to have problems with the White House communications team, according to a new re...


MONACA, PA - NOVEMBER 02: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden removes his sunglasses during a speech during a campaign stop at Community College of Beaver County on November 02, 2020 in Monaca, Pennsylvania.  A day before the election, Biden is campaigning in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state that President Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Joe Biden seems to have problems with the White House communications team, according to a new report revealing that his authority has at times been undermined by statements backtracking on his public comments on a variety of issues.

But in a curious form of unwitting point proof, the White House communications team released a statement pushing back against the idea that the White House communications team undermined the president, which only further undermines plus the frustration reported by the president.

Confused? let’s take a look at a recent NBC News report which detailed a “drift Biden White House.” According to the lengthy post, Biden expressed frustration with a “pattern” of aides issuing statements meant to backtrack or clarify his public comments.

These “throwback” statements have only reinforced a growing narrative among Republicans — and in the conservative media — that Biden isn’t really in charge. From report:

Beyond politics, Biden is unhappy with a pattern that has developed inside the West Wing. He makes a clear, succinct statement – ​​only to have aides rush to explain that he actually meant something else. The so-called clean-up campaign, he told advisers, undermines him and stifles the authenticity that fueled his rise. Worse, it’s fueling a Republican talking point that he’s not entirely in control.

Keep in mind this is an NBC News report co-authored by four acclaimed writers: Carol E. Lee, Peter Nicholas, Kristen Welker and Courtney Kube. This article is not the work of a conservative media like the Washington Examiner or the New York Post. They are accomplished journalists in a medium not known for unfairly attacking Democrats.

Yet the White House pushed back hard in a statement provided to Mediaite.

“The shortness of paragraphs 1 and 2 versus the denial relegated to chart 28 tells you what you need to know about this story,” a spokesperson said. “And as we’ve said before, no clarification of the President’s remarks is ever released without his direct approval.”

Why are White House aides pushing back so hard on a report that makes their man look…more in control? No good reason, as far as I can tell, other than the obvious shifting of blame for their statements to their boss, the guy they’re supposed to make look good. Assuming of course that the NBC News report has merit.

Analyzing their statement further, one sees two clear ideas: 1) the report is false, as evidenced by the inclusion of a White House statement that says so, and 2) the President endorsed all of the remarks, so even if he is frustrated with the communication strategy, it’s on him.

The first part is debatable. The communications team says the report of Biden’s frustration is not accurate, but NBC News felt comfortable enough with its source to put its reputation on the line by reporting it as fact.

The second part is rather amazing. The White House communications team is pushing back against the idea that it is undermining Biden with contradictory statements — releasing a statement that conflicts with his reported frustration. If that’s true, it’s effectively “don’t blame us; we work right here.

The larger context of this whole story is a Biden administration going through a remarkably difficult political time. Biden has faced many challenges and conflicts, and to hear the White House tell the story, his administration has had a few victories along the way, but nothing positive has consistently landed in the news cycle.

Maybe White House communications teams should spend more time promoting the administration and less time blaming the president for the ills they face?

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author.



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