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President Joe Biden’s argumentative performance with a CNN reporter after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week showed a leader who is not in “command of his own message,” former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Newsmax on Saturday.
“That’s part of the reason why you’re seeing this protective situation, putting Joe Biden in a cocoon of sorts when it comes to dealing with the media,” Meadows told Newsmax’s “Saturday Agenda.”
Former President Donald Trump would carry on nonscripted conversations with reporters, said Meadows, but Biden gets a “shortlist” of people he should call on.
“What we see is the message that came out of his trip abroad was anything less than spectacular,” Meadows said. “They keep in him a cocoon, yet when he comes out of that he was yelling at a CNN reporter. Perhaps it just doesn’t bode well when you don’t get a question on what’s the flavor of the ice cream you happen to be eating at the time.”
Biden had words with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins after she asked him why he would be confident of Putin’s behavior but later apologized.
Meadows pointed out Collins’ colleague, Jim Acosta, often tried “to make every single press conference a combative effort” when Trump was in office. He also called Biden’s performance “troubling.”
“What we have is not only a scripted president, but we have one that hit seems like he disengages,” Meadows said.
He also accused Biden of appeasing other leaders at the G7 event by “basically telling the foreign leaders that he’s willing to allow them to go first, and he’s willing to follow. That’s not the message that President Trump would have carried.”
Part of the issue, he added, is Biden is learning there is a difference between campaigning and when you are president of the United States.
“It’s much easier to sit in your basement and hope that you get elected and have other people run your campaign,” Meadows said. “It’s very different than when you’re in the Oval Office and you’re actually having to make decisions. What we’re finding is they’re not making any decisions.”
He noted Trump is to visit the border at the end of the month with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, but Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have not yet gone.
“Why are they not there? Because they don’t have an answer for the problem,” Meadows said. “The difference is President Trump had answers each and every day.
“Biden is rewarding our adversaries by saying what they’re going to do. We’re going to cancel the Keystone [XL] Pipeline, but we’re going to give you the ability to have Nord Stream 2 to provide cheap gas and oil to Germany. It is the height of not using the leverage and the power of the bully pulpit of the American people, and it’s a sad commentary.”