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Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch grilled Secretary of State Antony Blinken about who in the White House has the authority to “press the button” to silence President Joe Biden in a strange exchange during a Senate hearing that was supposed to be about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
“Somebody in the White House has authority to press the button and stop the president — cut off the president’s speaking ability and sound,” said Risch, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Who is that person?”
The article goes on to state the following:
“I think anyone who knows the president, including members of this committee, knows that he speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself,” Blinken responded.
“Well, are you saying that there is no one in the White House that can cut him off?” Risch asked. Because yesterday, that happened, and it’s happened a number of times before that. It’s been widely reported.”
“Somebody has the ability to push the button and cut off his sound and stop him from speaking,” Risch said. “Who is that person?”
Blinken stated that there is no such person.
For more than 2 minutes at the beginning of a hearing on Afghanistan, Sen. James Risch (R-ID) presses Secretary of State Antony Blinken about “somebody in the White House” who “pushes the button” to cut off Biden mid-sentence.
Blinken repeatedly refutes this. pic.twitter.com/jC4nshUKQp
— The Recount (@therecount) September 14, 2021
Risch was referring to to the multiple instances in which Biden’s livestream events have been cut off just as he was about to take questions.
Most recently, Biden’s briefing from fire safety officials was cut off was mid-sentence Monday as he began to answer a question, transitioning to a screen that said: “Thank you for joining.”
BIDEN: “Can I ask you a question?”
*White House feed cuts out” pic.twitter.com/YQ9I9u3r98
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 13, 2021
Biden also went off script back in March during an event with Nancy Pelosi just as he said he’d be happy to take questions from the press.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 4, 2021
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