Love was in the air Wednesday night at the White House, except between President Joe Biden and the press.
The president and first lady Jill Biden made a surprise appearance on the North Lawn at dinnertime to examine this year’s Valentine’s Day decorations: two large Valentine’s cards and an oversized box of conversation hearts adorned with the White House logo.
Dr. Biden has put up a Valentine’s Day display every year her husband has been in office.
Reporters asked the president, a devout Catholic, what he planned to give up during Lent, which began Wednesday.
“You guys,” the president responded.
When President Joe Biden was asked Wednesday night on the North Lawn of the White House what he was giving up in exchange for loans, he told reporters “you guys.”
First lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) walked to the North Lawn Wednesday evening to view the White House Valentine’s Day decorations.
He then responded to a question about Wednesday’s mass shooting in Kansas City, saying he was “getting more information” about the incident as it came in.
The criticism of journalists comes after Thursday’s heated news conference in which Biden, 81, lashed out at journalists for questioning his memory and voters’ concerns about his age.
The surprise meeting came on the heels of the release of special counsel Robert Hur’s report of classified documents that said a jury would likely perceive Biden as a “well-intentioned old man with a bad memory.”
“I have good intentions, I’m an old man and I know what I’m doing,” Biden accused reporters. ‘I have been president. I put this country back on its feet. I don’t need your recommendation.
The president’s allies were quick to point out that Hur, appointed special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland, was initially appointed by Trump.
When asked ‘how bad is your memory’, the president responded.
‘Now, look, my memory hasn’t improved… my memory is fine. My memory: Take a look at what I’ve done since becoming president. None of you thought I could pass any of the things I passed. ‘How did that happen?’ he asked her sarcastically. “You know, I guess I just forgot what was going on.”
President Joe Biden held a surprise news conference Thursday night that led to a heated exchange with reporters over the contents of special counsel Robert Hur’s classified documents report.
Biden also told reporters, “that’s his judgment,” as public polls emerged showing concerns about his advanced age and his ability to be effective in a second term.
Later in the back-and-forth, Biden made another gaffe, saying that Egypt’s president was the leader of “Mexico.”
Additional reports that emerged Wednesday found that Hur never directly questioned Biden about his son Beau’s death, as the president claimed during Thursday’s news conference.
‘How the hell dare you bring that up?’ Biden was furious. “Frankly, when they asked me the question, I thought: It was none of their business.”
NBC News reported that during Hur’s five-hour interview with the president on October 8, it was Biden who mentioned Beau’s 2015 death.
Earlier on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not reveal when Biden might face questions next.
The day before, the president made a brief statement regarding the Senate’s passage of the bipartisan supplemental funding bill, which is currently stalled in the GOP-led House.
“I’m not going to answer any questions, but I’ll ask them tomorrow or the next day,” the president said.
When asked at Wednesday’s briefing what Biden was referring to, Jean-Pierre responded: “I have nothing to share at this time.”
“As you know, the president answers questions from all of you, often, I have nothing on the public agenda to talk to,” Jean-Pierre said.
The reporter then asked if White House staff were looking for more opportunities for the president to answer questions.
“We always try to find ways for him to engage with all of you, obviously he takes the initiative on his own a lot of times, whether it’s on the South Lawn, whether it’s on the road, whether it’s here at the White House to answer questions.” On behalf of all of you, I simply have nothing on his agenda to speak to at the moment,” Jean-Pierre continued.
The press secretary added that “we’ll see if something fits into his agenda.”
“You asked me yesterday and I’m always very, very careful with that,” she said. ‘It’s Valentine’s Day. He wants to share his love with all of you. I just don’t have anything.’