It’s not often the White House admits that its own president can’t be trusted.
But that’s exactly the message that came from President Joe Biden’s communications team Tuesday after Biden publicly — and very clearly — claimed to reporters that Sen. Joe Manchin had essentially admitted lying over his opposition to the Democratic spending monstrosity known as the Build Back Better bill.
In a scramble to clean up after another Biden mess, the White House communications shop just ended up making Biden look worse.
“The president wanted to clarify that Senator Manchin did not characterize himself as having been ‘misleading,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, according to a Zeleny Twitter post.
The White House attempts to clarify President Biden’s puzzling remark that @Sen_JoeManchin “misled” House progressives. “The President wanted to clarify that Senator Manchin did not characterize himself as having been ‘misleading,” WH spox Andrew Bates says.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) December 21, 2021
That’s funny, because Biden had stated — in unusually lucid English for him — that Manchin had, in fact, characterized himself as having been misleading.
Check it out here:
BIDEN: “…and Joe (Manchin) went on TV today, uh, (I don’t know) whether it’s TV or not, I’m told he was speaking to the Liberal Caucus in the House and said, ‘Joe Biden didn’t mislead you, I misled you.'” pic.twitter.com/O21nnLsvE2
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) December 21, 2021
Here’s the full quote, according to the exceedingly liberal DailyKos (a website that makes The New York Times look like National Review).
“Look,” Biden said. “I want to get things done. I still think there’s a possibility of getting Build Back Better done. What I don’t want to do is get into it. And Joe went on TV today, and I had not watched TV. I’m told he was speaking to a Liberal Caucus in the House and said, ‘Joe Biden didn’t mislead you. I misled you.’”
That’s about a plain a claim that another man had admitted to being misleading as it’s possible to make.
The only thing Biden didn’t do to make it plainer was add one of his trademark “my word as a Biden” lines.
But it turns out, Biden doesn’t really believe that that sentence is true since, according to Biden’s PR machine, “the president wanted to clarify that that Senator Manchin did not characterize himself as having been ‘misleading.’”
Both of those statements can’t be true. Which brings up the obvious question: What exactly was Biden saying? Or was he just making something up out of whole cloth — as he has on countless other occasions.
To be fair, Biden had admitted he was unprepared to talk to the media — “I’m not supposed to be having this press conference right now,” he said, without explaining who, exactly, tells the president of the United States when he is and isn’t supposed to talk to the American people.
But that doesn’t change the essence of the matter — or the fact that what Biden did is of a piece with his presidency, in fact, his whole public life.
Biden has lied about matters great and small — from his experiences driving a tractor-trailer (nonexistent) to whether the other driver involved in the collision that killed Biden’s first wife and his daughter was drunk.
He’s lied about an Amtrak conductor congratulating him on his miles traveled (there are too many versions of the story for all of them to be true).
He’s lied to the country on a preposterous scale, claiming the Build Back Better bill would cost Americans nothing. It’s officially pegged at $1.75 trillion but would be closer to $5 trillion if its benefit payments were made permanent, according to the Congressional Budget Office, as Fox News reported.
And now, with Build Back Better all but dead thanks to the “no” Manchin announced this week on “Fox News Sunday,” Biden is lying about Manchin lying. And his White House is lying about Biden lying about Manchin lying.
It didn’t go unnoticed.
That’s literally what he said though. pic.twitter.com/l6A66ilsKj
— Just a chick tweeting (@KristineAz) December 22, 2021
Thanks for clarifying that the @potus just makes things up and yells them out in public. Thank God for the clarification. Phew.
— bbdealio (@bbdealio) December 22, 2021
‘the president wanted to clarify that he made that whole thing up’ is not a dream statement for comms to have to issue https://t.co/dfaw1acKdE
— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) December 21, 2021
but it’s one they should be used to by now. He kind of routinely makes things up.
— James Baker (@JDtheDJ2004) December 21, 2021
If this kind of situation arose under President Donald Trump, of course, it would be headline news for a week, the subject of Sunday talk shows and chin-stroking editorials aimed at making sure Americans knew about the latest lie from Washington.
But the Biden White House, coddled by the mainstream media from its beginning, despite the cascade of catastrophes it’s brought the country–– can expect a free pass on this, as it gets on so many other incidents of blatant Biden dishonesty.
Of course, there’s also the disturbing possibility that the doddering chief executive is actually so out of touch with reality that he simply imagined the statement about Manchin’s statement was true, in which case the country could be in even worse trouble.
But whether he’s cognitively disabled or an inveterate dissembler — or both — doesn’t change the essential fact that Joe Biden can’t be trusted.
His own White House just told us so.
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