Hours after two suicide bombings outside the airport that left at least 13 U.S. servicemen dead, Biden broke his silence and offered a somber message to the nation amid the military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
While it has become normalized for the president to rely on a list of pre-selected reporters, he made a rather stunning admission in the process.
“Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell from NBC,” Biden kicked off the press conference.
Among the others called from the list were Reuters correspondent Trevor Hunnicutt and Associated Press reporter Aamer Madhani, who was ridiculed for his softball question that invoked the memory of the president’s son, Beau Biden.
Biden then appeared to go off-script by calling on NPR correspondent Franco Ordoñez, RealClearNews reporter Philip Wegmann and he even sparred with Fox News’ Peter Doocy.
However, the press conference was overshadowed by the “instructed” remark, which became a viral moment.
“What is going on?” BlazeTV host Jason Whitlock reacted.
“Who the hell is in charge here?” Washington Examiner commentator Tiana Lowe asked.
“Amazing. And everyone goes along with this,” The Spectator contributor Stephen Miller wrote, adding, “He is not in charge.”
“He said instructed. Jesus Christ,” Washington Examiner Magazine managing editor Jay Caruso tweeted.
“Biden just said ‘I was instructed to call on’ this reporter! Who instructed him to call on the reporter? Who’s really in charge? Are you kidding me?” Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., exclaimed.