President Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed his desire to embody the opposite traits of his predecessor, President Donald Trump, in terms of interacting with the media and respecting journalists tasked with covering his administration.
For the second time in a matter of months, however, he has snapped at or insulted female reporters for asking questions in a manner he did not appreciate.
“We’ve known each other for so long”
As Mediaite reported, Biden’s latest target was NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell. Last month, he engaged in a tense exchange with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
On Monday, Biden hosted Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at the White House and took a few questions from reporters prior to the bilateral meeting. After urging reporters to keep their questions focused on Iraq, O’Donnell chose instead to inquire about the recent Department of Veterans Affairs announcement making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for the agency’s employees.
“You are such a pain in the neck, but I’m going to answer your question because we’ve known each other for so long,” he said. “It has nothing to do with Iraq.”
For her part, O’Donnell took the insult as a “compliment,” prompting the president to chuckle before finishing his response.
“I’ll answer your question,” Biden continued. “Yes, Veterans Affairs is going to, in fact, require that all docs working in facilities are going to have to be vaccinated.”
“You’re in the wrong business”
A little more than a month earlier, Collins posed a series of pointed questions during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland following Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior,” Biden said in reference to Putin. “Where the hell — what do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident.”
He went on to present his perspective and instructed the CNN reporter to “get it straight,” but she pressed on, citing several examples of Putin’s prior bad acts and asking how he could proclaim that he had a “constructive meeting” with his Russian counterpart.
Biden fired back with another insult: “If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.”
The president has long faced accusations that he has a short temper with reporters and his handlers have reportedly done their best to limit his interactions with members of the press.