‘Who is he mad at?’: CBS correspondent grills Psaki on Biden’s sour mood during Afghanistan speech

In President Joe Biden’s speech about the end of the war in Afghanistan, some commentators noted he seemed… angry?

Ed O’Keefe, a CBS News White House correspondent, noticed the seeming foul temper President Biden appeared to be in, and mentioned it to White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday.

During the press conference, O’Keefe noted that he wasn’t the only one who sensed Biden’s sour mood.

“We have asked — and, in fact, a little bit about the president’s mood over the last few days, or his — you know, his sense of all of this. A few of us observed he seemed angry at the beginning of the speech today. Who is he mad at?” O’Keefe asked.

Psaki tried to rebuff him and asserted that Biden was simply being forceful and assertive in making his case for the withdrawal.

“I would say I’ll — I’ll give you a different assessment of what I saw, which is that he gave a forceful assessment, laid out a forceful case to the American people as to why it was time to wind down a 20-year war that has led to the loss of thousands of lives. And in his view — and I think he made a firm case of this — it’s not in our national security interest to be on the ground anymore,” Psaki said.

The exchange was, of course, recorded and made the rounds on Twitter:

Most Twitter commenters weren’t terribly impressed:

Even NBC’s Chuck Todd found part of Biden’s speech “extraordinarily defensive” and even thought his anger made it “awkward.”

Other professional commenters weren’t delighted either:

“Why so angry if it’s such a success?” asked New York Post columnist Miranda Devine.

CNN correspondent John Harwood noted on Twitter that “for better or worse, Biden is responding ferociously to the ferocious political attacks he has faced over the last two weeks.”

“This isn’t a speech, it’s a parsed together angry comments section,” said Dana Loesch, conservative radio host, and noted 2nd Amendment advocate.

Biden’s speech was also criticized for effectively dismissing all responsibility and shunting it onto former President Donald Trump or other subordinates:

“So which is it… was the withdrawal a success or a failure that’s Trump’s fault?” asked Representative Jim Banks (R-IN).

“Joe Biden is actually blaming Americans who he left stranded behind,” Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tweeted. “Shouting at and blaming the American people is not what was needed in this speech. For Joe Biden, the buck stops with anyone and everyone but himself.”

Even Martha Raddatz on ABC News wasn’t impressed with how much time he spent bragging about the airlift that still managed to leave hundreds of Americans stranded in Afghanistan, a subject the administration still refuses to address.


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