NBC, WaPo, CNN drop damning reports on WH turmoil, suggest issues plaguing Biden weren’t caused by his admin

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President Biden was hit with not one, not two, but three damning reports that shed light on turmoil erupting in the White House, all having a common theme that the mounting issues plaguing his presidency were not self-inflicted by his administration. 

NBC News kicked this off early Tuesday morning following the long Memorial Day weekend with a report headlined, “Inside a Biden White House adrift,” telling readers, “Amid a rolling series of calamities and sinking approval ratings, the president’s feeling lately is that he just can’t catch a break — and that angst is rippling through his party.”

“Faced with a worsening political predicament, President Joe Biden is pressing aides for a more compelling message and a sharper strategy while bristling at how they’ve tried to stifle the plain-speaking persona that has long been one of his most potent assets,” NBC News began its report. “Biden is rattled by his sinking approval ratings and is looking to regain voters’ confidence that he can provide the sure-handed leadership he promised during the campaign,people close to the president say.”

The report lists the crises that have “piled up” to make “the Biden White House look flat-footed” from soaring inflation, high gas prices, a spike in COVID cases, to the mass shootings that have taken place in recent weeks, writing how “Democratic leaders are at a loss about how he can revive his prospects by November” as Republicans are expected to ride a red wave in the midterm elections. 

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NBC News suggested a potential White House shakeup may occur as rumors of Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain may leave the administration after the midterms and Biden adviser Anita Dunn may rise as his successor.

NBC News released a report about the turmoil in the Biden White House.

NBC News released a report about the turmoil in the Biden White House. (Fox News)

The Peacock network cites “signs of managerial breakdowns” between Biden and his staff, noting the president was “annoyed that he wasn’t alerted sooner about the baby formula shortage” and how he’s “unhappy” how the White House continues to undermine statements he makes with various walk backs which “feeds a Republican talking point that he’s not fully in command.”

Democratic lawmakers are now openly calling out the administration with Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., accusing the White House of failing to outline an “intellectually honest” plan to combat inflation. 

But the “frustrations” go both ways as Biden “has vented to aides about not getting credit from Americans or the news media for actions he believes have helped the country, particularly on the economy” and how he “doesn’t think enough Democrats go on television to defend him” while “grousing” that Republicans “aren’t getting their share of the blame for legislative gridlock in Congress, while he’s repeatedly faulted for not getting his agenda passed.”

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One source close to the White House told NBC News, “He’s now lower than Trump, and he’s really twisted about it.”

On Tuesday evening, the Washington Post dropped its report titled, “White House scrambles on inflation after Biden complains to aides,” claiming the president “fumes privately that administration isn’t doing enough to show concern on high prices.”

“The White House launched a new push Tuesday to contain the political damage caused by inflation after President Biden complained for weeks to aides that his administration was not doing enough to publicly explain the fastest price increases in roughly four decades,” the Post framed its report. 

The Washington Post published a story Tuesday about the Biden White House "scrambling" on inflation.

The Washington Post published a story Tuesday about the Biden White House "scrambling" on inflation. (Fox News)

The Post appeared to give Biden a pass on inflation, writing, “With price hikes reaching 8 percent in April, the pressures appear unlikely to abate soon amid the ongoing fallout of the war in Ukraine, coronavirus lockdowns in China and a surge in gas prices likely to be exacerbated by the summer driving season, all factors beyond the president’s control… That leaves Biden struggling to show that at least he understands that Americans are suffering and is doing what he can.”

Despite the White House’s “flurry” of events and media appearances from Biden’s economic team, the Post admits the administration did not announce “any new measures to combat inflation” but the administration “the American economy is in strong position for the Federal Reserve to tame high prices, because high growth and low unemployment create a buffer against future interest rate hikes.”

“The new activity comes after Biden had complained to aides that they were not doing a good job explaining the causes of inflation and what the administration is doing about it,” the Post wrote. 

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Then on Thursday, CNN followed suit with its headline, “Beneath Biden’s struggle to break through is a deeper dysfunction among White House aides.”

The report began noting how White House staff monitor which media outlets cover the president, particularly which TV networks carry his speeches live, “realizing a number of times that the answer was none.” One anonymous aide told CNN, “You are thinking… why are we doing this?”

“Biden and his inner circle get weekly readouts of the metrics on local newspaper coverage of his speeches, how long and for what he was covered on cable, but also videos that staff post on Twitter and other social media interactions. Those reports go on the piles with internal memos from pollsters saying Biden isn’t breaking through in traditional news outlets and that the people who are engaged are mostly voters who’ve already made up their minds,” CNN wrote. “But beneath this struggle to break through is a deeper dysfunction calcified among aides who largely started working together only through Zoom screens and still struggle to get in rhythm. They’re still finding it hard to grasp how much their political standing has changed over the last year, and there’s a divide between most of the White House staff and the inner circle who have been around Biden for longer than most of the rest of that staff has been alive.”

CNN published a report about the "dysfunction" of White House staff. 

CNN published a report about the "dysfunction" of White House staff.  (Fox News)

CNN alleged Biden is “still trying to calibrate himself to the office” despite being president for over 16 months as he “can’t see a way to address” crises “while also being the looser, happier, more sympathetic, lovingly Onion-parody inspiring, aviator-wearing, vanilla chip cone-licking guy — an image that was the core of why he got elected in the first place.”

One aide told CNN, “He has to speak to very serious things… and you can’t do that getting ice cream.”

The report claims Biden is “often left looking like he’s in a reactive crouch on the issues that matter most to voters rather than setting the agenda” and moments of him “appearing to be caught off-guard go viral on their own.” And while administration officials have made several TV appearances in recent days to discuss inflation, “Biden himself, meanwhile, is staying barely visible, spending all of this week at the White House and his beach home in Delaware, removed from any interaction with anyone who’s actually on edge about their bills going up.”

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“The President is a 79-year-old man who still thinks in terms of newspaper front pages and primetime TV programs, surrounded by not-quite-as-senior aides in senior positions with the same late 1990s media diet. Lifelong habits don’t tend to fade when people get to their desks in the West Wing,” CNN swiped Biden and his team.

According to CNN, Biden aides blame “a political press corps still hooked on Trump-style melodrama,”a news environment dominated by Ukraine and pandemic” ongoing COVID concerns and even the Secret Service limiting his activities as a “range of factors” fueling the president’s problems. 

“That’s in between pointing fingers at each other for whose fault it is,” CNN wrote. “They have the same internal meetings over and over, insisting that they need to change up their whole approach to how they’re using Biden — and then each time watch as nothing changes.”

“Older aides dismiss the younger aides as being too caught up in the tweet-by-tweet thinking they say lost the 2020 election for everyone else. Younger aides give up — what’s the point of working up innovative ideas, they ask themselves, if the ideas constantly get knocked down and the aides get looked down on for suggesting them?” the report continued. 

President Biden speaks after exiting a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. 

President Biden speaks after exiting a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.  (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

CNN later called out Biden’s staff for “nixing interview requests to avoid the hours of prep and possible clean-up” and shed light on a proposal from Ron Klain in January for the president to do “one town hall each month to at least grab some unscripted moments and media exposure.”

“That got sucked into the maw of blaming and dysfunction like so much else: Some aides embraced the idea for at least shaking things up a little, some mocked it for being an outdated idea, some complained that the logistics of making that happen would be impossibly time consuming. In the end, not a single town hall was scheduled,” CNN wrote before noting an aide did say “more town halls are expected in the near future.”

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Aides acknowledge to Democratic allies that Biden is “coming across disconnected” in White House events, yet they continue to be scheduled. And while White House staff were “excited” by the visit of K-pop group BTS, they admit it “will likely be seen more than anything Biden will do for weeks.”

They also expressed frustration by Biden’s “own reluctance to hit harder” against Republicans since they see him picking fights with the GOP as his best “chances of breaking through” as president, but they say he’s “steeped in both his attempt to push America back to what he insists can’t be a bygone era of cooperation and his sense that a president shouldn’t get petty.”