Biden tells press he won’t take questions, before promising to take questions – then doesn’t

President Joe Biden delivered a sales pitch from the White House on Tuesday, calling on House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to pass the $95 billion foreign aid package that cleared the Senate earlier — the bill pours another $60 billion into Ukraine’s war with Russia.

The 81-year-old president was an hour late with his remarks and he made it clear from the jump that he would not take questions from the assembled press.

“Before we begin, I’m going to make this statement and let it stand on its own,” Biden said, beginning his remarks before reaching the lectern. “I’m not going to take any questions, but I’ll be taking questions tomorrow or the next day. But I don’t want anything to get in the way of this statement, to be very blunt about it.”

“Earlier this morning, the United States Senate, as you all know, voted overwhelmingly, by a margin of 70 to 29, to move forward with a bipartisan national security bill,” Biden said. “Now — now it moves to the House, and I urge Speaker Johnson to bring it to the floor immediately — immediately.”

The man who not only abandoned Afghan partners but hundreds, if not thousands of U.S. citizens during the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan declared that passing the funding bill that ignores the historic crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border “sends a clear message to Ukrainians and to our partners and to our allies around the world: America can be trusted, America can be relied upon.”

Having already claimed that Ukrainian soldiers are “out of artillery shells [and] rationing rounds of ammunition,” Biden undercut his own argument that this burden falls on America alone when he stated that the U.S. “pulled together a coalition of nearly 50 nations to support Ukraine.”

Biden also played the Vladimir Putin card, “Supporting this bill is standing up to Putin. Opposing it is playing into Putin’s hands.”

Speaking of Putin, the president also did a bit of campaigning from the lectern when he brought up a recent Donald Trump anecdote about NATO members being expected to pay their fair share.

“Just a few days ago, Trump gave an invitation to Putin to invade some of our allies — NATO Allies. He said if an ally didn’t spend enough money on defense, he would encourage Russia to, quote, ‘do whatever the hell they want,’ end of quote,” Biden said. “Can you imagine a former President of the United States saying that? The whole world heard it. And the worst thing is he means it.”

(Trump did not mean it.)

“No other president in our history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator. Well, let me say this as clearly as I can: I never will. For God’s sake, it’s dumb, it’s shameful, it’s dangerous, it’s un-American,” he added.

Despite his earlier insistence that he would not take questions, Biden concluded by promising to come back and answer any questions before shuffling off — he didn’t.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story, as seen on X:

Tom Tillison

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