In what might be regarded as a metaphor for President Joe Biden’s collapsing job approval, a live CNN interview with a White House official went sideways, literally, as a camera crashed to the ground.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Brian Deese, Biden’s director of the National Economic Council, and an Obama retread, said, as the equipment that was filming him outside the White House dislodged.
In the video clip embedded above, Deese was in the middle of interrogation about the baby formula shortage from CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday when the back and forth came to an abrupt end.
Although Tapper has a track record of being an apologist for Democrats and their agenda, he was uncharacteristically aggressive in this interview conducted remotely in challenging Deese on the administration’s slow response, from Biden on down, to the infant formula shortfall.
In referencing the timeline, the host of CNN’s “The Lead” was particularly critical of Biden’s purported lack of knowledge about the crisis.
“The White House has said the administration has been working on the issue since February. So how come President Biden didn’t know it was gonna be bad until April?,” Tapper asked in what might be a What did the president know and when did he know it? moment.
Biden admin dragged feet on baby formula: If supply of ‘erectile dysfunction pills were at risk … ‘ https://t.co/q6YbPw0WXj
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 11, 2022
In an attempt at what he described as a clarification, Deese seemed to put the onus on the shutdown of the Abbott baby formula factory in Michigan and the company’s alleged slowness in going along with a consent decree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ramp-up production after an investigation into potential bacterial infections.
Tapper seemed unconvinced: “I guess I still just don’t fully understand why you didn’t tell the president until April if the problem was reported to the FDA last fall, the FDA didn’t check it out until, I think, December, and then they shut down the factory in February. The president, the only one who can invoke the Defense Production Act to force companies to produce this incredibly, direly needed infant formula, he’s not told until April,” Tapper asserted.
“I want to be very clear,” Deese responded in part (and in politics, the word clear is almost always a tell,) “that the president’s role in this has been at the right and appropriate moments, when we needed to do things like the Defense Production Act, when we needed to take extraordinary measures like Operation Fly Formula, he has been informed, he has directed the action that we have taken.”
Fox’s Steve Hilton calls for ‘incapacitated’ Biden to be removed from office over baby formula shortage https://t.co/XDVdDgHTuE
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) May 23, 2022
Tapper was still unpersuaded.
“So the whistleblower complaint in the fall, the FDA waited until December to act, waited until February to shut the plant down. President Biden wasn’t told about it until April. You don’t think any of that should have been done more quickly or sooner? You think everything just went exactly how it’s supposed to?” he asked.
With some additional bureaucratic word salad, Deese told the CNN anchor that FDA Commissioner Robert Califf plans to investigate how things were handled, adding that “those evaluations with respect to the facility and making safety judgments, I will leave to the FDA.”
“I don’t need the FDA to investigate itself to come to the judgment that they did not act quickly enough, and on behalf of all of the frustrated moms and dads and guardians out there, I hope you don’t either,” Tapper said sharply.
Deese was in the middle of a statement that it was about the FDA following the science, a familiar refrain, when the camera came loose.
“The camera fell down. Okay: Brian Deese, thank you so much,” an amused Tapper concluded.
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