White House staffers regularly mute or turn off President Joe Biden’s interviews with reporters out of fear he will veer off course or misspeak, according to Politico.
Biden, a self-proclaimed “gaffe machine,” makes so many verbal blunders while speaking with reporters that it makes his own aides “nervous,” the outlet reported.
“I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason,” one White House official said.
Some of his staffers have even pushed the president to take fewer questions from reporters to minimize the number of gaffes he makes.
“A lot of times, we say, ‘Don’t take questions,’” Psaki told former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod in a May podcast interview. “But he’s going to do what he wants to do,” she added. “He’s the president of the United States.”
Biden himself has also hinted that he has been discouraged from speaking to the press.
Just a couple of weeks ago, at an appearance at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, he said, “I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead.”
Recently, Biden’s gaffes have become a point of concern for many who question whether Biden is capable of leading the country effectively, especially as he deals with multiple crises.
However, the White House denied that Biden’s team is at all concerned with the way he communicates.
“As the President has shown over and over since he announced his candidacy more than two years ago, he’s the most effective communicator for his vision and his agenda,” rapid response director Michael Gwin told Politico.
“The President deeply values the role of the press—that’s why he regularly takes time to answer their questions in interviews, press conferences, and the dozens of media availabilities he’s done since taking office.”