President Joe Biden’s top aides have reportedly created a “wall” to shield him from unscripted events and long interviews, according to a new book.
In “Peril,” by reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, the authors allege that Biden’s team — including his chief of staff Ron Klain — intentionally keep the president away from situations in which he might commit a verbal gaffe.
“That side of Biden — his tendency to at times be testy or mangle statements — was still with him and now part of his presidency,” the book says, according to Fox News. “They called the effect ‘the wall,’ a cocooning of the president.”
But despite the White House’s best efforts, Biden continues to hurt himself by misspeaking.
For example, after he announced he had reached a bipartisan infrastructure agreement with the Senate, Biden claimed it would be contingent on another massive spending bill being passed.
According to Woodward and Costa, this was a misstatement that forced White House officials to do damage control for days afterward.
Biden’s verbal blunders make his aides so “nervous” that they have to turn off his interviews, according to Politico.
Several White House staffers have also openly admitted that limiting Biden’s contact with the media is their strategy.
“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.”