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MSNBC’s Geist rebukes Biden econ policy: ‘I promise you’ Americans aren’t blaming Putin

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During Friday’s episode of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” co-host Willie Geist pushed back on Biden’s claims that rising prices are due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Skeptical of Biden’s “Putin’s price hike” talking point, the MSNBC anchor assured show guest Brian Deese, the White House director of the National Economic Council, that the average American pumping gas is not saying, “Damn you, Putin!” but probably blaming leadership.

Geist asked if Deese could relay to those people whether Biden had an actual plan to fix the economic crisis, considering the Department of Labor report, which revealed consumer prices rose 8.6% since this time in 2021. They are now at a 40-year-high.

The back-and-forth between Geist and Deese came after co-host Joe Scarborough pressed the director on whether the Biden administration had any perspective on what the Federal Reserve could be doing to ease inflation.

MSNBC Morning Joe co-anchor Willie Geist presses National Economic Council director Brian Deese on "Putin’s Price Hike" talking point. 


“We’re up to 8.6%. That 8.6% could become 10, it could become 12 if the Fed doesn’t start acting aggressively. Does Chairman Powell and the Fed, do they need to jack rates up at a faster clip?” Scarborough asked, though Deese did not give any specifics as to how the White House is handling this.

Deese claimed the White House is giving the Federal Reserve “the space it needs to do everything that it needs to take on inflation” and not getting in the way. 

“The president is not going to politicize that process. That is the most important thing that we can do, that a president can do, and we can’t take that for granted,” Deese said, adding that former President Donald Trump “was aggressively tweeting at the Federal Reserve chair.”

The economic director added that Biden will not be doing what Trump did and explained, “that’s why I’m not going to comment on the question of exactly the tactics they should use other than to say you have a president that says fighting inflation is the top economic priority right now.”

MSNBC host asks Biden economic adviser Brian Deese what the president is doing to fight inflation.

Geist wasn’t satisfied with Deese’s stonewalling and expressed that the White House needs to start giving clearer answers on America’s economic woes.

“Brian, it’s true, of course, that Russia’s war in Ukraine is impacting oil prices, yes, but I promise you, the landscaper two days ago I talked to at the gas pump, who was trying to fill up two cans and backpack blowers and mowers in his truck was not going, ‘Damn you, Putin!’” Geist said. 


He asked: “So what do you say to him? What do you say to families who can’t afford all their groceries right now?”

Deese insisted that rising prices are Russia’s fault, saying, “it doesn’t make people feel any better, but it is important in diagnosing the problem here, and the problem is that the price of gas at the pump is now up about $1.70 since Putin began amassing troops at the border. That is the impact of war.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosts asked White House economic adviser Brian Deese about rising inflation. (Consumer prices rising to record levels)


CNBC anchor Jim Cramer criticized Deese following the director’s Friday appearance on “Squawk on the Street.” He claimed Deese’s economic numbers “are not true” and expressed that the real reason gas prices are so high is simply because Biden and Democrats “hate fossil fuels” and don’t want to work with oil companies. 

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