A White House spokesman dismissed concerns about President Biden stifling his voice in a conversation with the Israeli president.
President Isaac Herzog was in Washington DC for a meeting on Tuesday, where the 80-year-old Biden reiterated the US commitment to Israel.
Video footage of their exchange shows Biden making indecipherable comments to Herzog, avoiding eye contact, and looking to himself, as if he were about to shake his head.
Fox News host Martha McCallum questioned White House spokesman John Kirby about the mumbling, saying: ‘Why is it so hard to understand what the president is trying to say there?’
In response, Kirby told the news host that Biden was ‘very, very clear’ when he made his comments.
John Kirby was grilled on Fox News about uncomfortable comments made by President Biden
They were participating in a bilateral meeting at the Oval Office on Tuesday
Inside the Oval Office, Biden can be seen talking with fellow presidents with their eyes closed
Avoiding the president’s behavior, Kirby said: ‘Our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad, will not change.
‘This does not mean that we are not concerned about the significant changes taking place in democratic institutions within Israel.
“The President spoke frankly with the Prime Minister and the President of Israel.
‘Israel is a deep and secure partner and friend in the region and we are going to do everything we can to protect ourselves.’
In response, McCallum questioned Kirby further, asking him: ‘So you didn’t think there was a problem communicating, you didn’t think there was a problem understanding what he meant?’
Kirby again stood by his comments, adding: ‘The president was very clear in that clip and he was very clear with the Israeli leaders.’
Footage shows Biden speaking to Herzog with his eyes closed: ‘We brought Israelis and Palestinians together on a political level’.
The rest of the clip is almost unintelligible as Herzog scans around the Oval Office of the White House.
US President Joe Biden poses for a photo with Israeli President Isaac Herzog (R) at the presidential residence in Jerusalem on July 14, 2022.
Last month, Biden was mocked after speaking at a national security community conference in West Hartford, Connecticut.
The president ended the speech with an eerie reference to Queen Elizabeth II, nine months after attending her funeral.
He then gestured to the collaborators to ask which way he wanted to leave the stage to take pictures.
After expressing his anger about the US gun violence problem during his speech, he informed the crowd that he had to leave because of the impending storm.
The audience – consisting of several young activists – shouted, ‘Take it!’
‘That’s the truth, don’t lie now,’ he continued. ‘Don’t make me a false pony soldier with a dog’s face, like that scene in the John Wayne movie.’
He previously deployed a similar line at a 2020 campaign event in New Hampshire — a bizarre moment that went viral.
He then told the group to ‘God save the Queen’ before going on stage to take pictures with the participants.
A Poole reporter chronicling the trip at the time sent a note to the press saying he and other reporters had ‘no idea’ why the president had mentioned the Queen, who had been dead since September.
Biden also now uses the short stairs to board Air Force One, having tripped on the plane’s grand staircase at least three times before.
Politico reported Wednesday that two Biden advisers privately acknowledged that the president’s now-frequent use of small stairs was intentional to ensure easier travel and reduce the chance of another trip.
President Joe Biden now climbs Air Force One almost exclusively using the short, retractable ladder (left, Thursday), after climbing the ladder three times. He stumbled down the stairs in March 2021 (right).
Presidents have the option of using a staircase on wheels – with 26 steps to climb – or a shorter, 14-step staircase that folds flat.
Although Biden continues to use the tall staircase, thus making a grand entrance, when he arrives at various destinations, he has chosen the short staircase to board the plane on nearly every occasion since falling on a sandbag last month.
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