Cameras Expose Who Is On Biden's Secret List of Names, Prove Advance Knowledge of Questions


President Joe Biden’s aides thought Wednesday’s joint news conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol was a “tough Q&A.”

How do we know?

It was on his notes, along with at least one of the questions and who was asking it — and explicit instructions reminding him he’d been present at his own White House prep session.

While Biden’s “cheat sheets” have been caught on camera before, it’s unusual to see exactly how explicitly the question in this case was spelled out.

The card showed a picture of the reporter — the Los Angeles Times’ Courtney Subramanian — as well as the phonetic pronunciation of her last name (“Soo-bruh-MAIN-ee-an”).

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What, leaving it up to chance on how he would pronounce “Courtney?” That’s dangerous territory these days with the 80-year-old president.

The card also had the question, written out, as the New York Post noted: “How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic priorities — like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing — with alliance-based foreign policy?”

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Two things are worth noting here.

First, even with the last name phonetically spelled out for him, Biden didn’t even attempt it, simply calling her “Courtney Los Angeles Times.”

Second, while the question was slightly more pointed than it was worded on the card, it didn’t go much further than that. Here’s what Soo-bruh-MAIN-ee-an ended up asking:

“Your top economic priority has been to build up U.S. domestic manufacturing in competition with China. But your rules against expanding chip manufacturing in China is hurting South Korean companies that rely heavily on Beijing. Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the election?”

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Biden went on to say that he was “not concerned about China” and that “America invented the semiconductor,” adding that South Korean corporations had invested in his policies that aim to bring chip manufacturing back to the United States.

The Republican National Committee’s RNC Research Twitter account also had other notes from the joint media briefing that, while not exhaustive, don’t exactly bespeak of a president of great mental dexterity.

Here’s the “tough Q&A” card:

And here’s your president, having to be reminded he attended his own prep session in his own office. You know, the oval one.

If this all seems eerily familiar, it’s because it is; here’s perhaps the most famous cheat sheet of all, captured last summer when Biden had to be walked through the motions of a “drop-by” session involving offshore wind power.

As Georgia GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde pointed out, Biden’s use of the cheat sheets Wednesday was anything but funny.

But then, what do you expect? This is why the White House doesn’t like putting him through the rigamarole of formal media briefings.

Two different press secretaries have come up with two damning explanations for this.

First there was Jen Psaki, who said that it was because the media (no, really) asked questions Biden didn’t want them to ask.

Then there’s current White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who has told the media that he takes questions, just when they’re shouted at him:

The reason the White House thinks it can get away with this strategy is, well, because it can.

One seriously doubts that “Courtney Los Angeles Times” is going to file a report that the president is losing it and didn’t actually answer her question, because of course she’s not going to. She knows who reads the Los Angeles Times, just as The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and the rest know who reads and watches them.

The fact this showed up mostly on social media and in outlets like the New York Post, which skews conservative, makes sense.

But here’s the question for “Soo-bruh-MAIN-ee-an” and everyone else who enables this nonsense:

This week, Joe Biden officially announced he wants to stay in the Oval Office until Jan. 20, 2029. Do they see him cheat-sheeting his way through nearly six more years of this? Because it’s obvious his aides are watching him barely make it through “tough Q&A” sessions now.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture