An official White House livestream of President Joe Biden was abruptly cut mid-sentence on Monday after he went of script to ask an audience member about the Idaho wildfires. Biden was meeting with officials for a round table on the wildfires at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise on Monday.
Biden blames the wildfires on global warming and went off script to ask an official a counter question on the Idaho wildfires. Realizing that he might say something embarrassing, the audio was abruptly muted. The incident comes just days after a report revealed that some White House staffers have stopped listening to Biden speak in public for fear he will veer wildly off-message.
Biden has often embarrassed the White House staff and on Monday his aides in a bid to keep in check Biden's habit off going off-message, invited more embarrassment. The meeting was being broadcast live when Biden decided to ask a question to George Geissler of the National Association of State Foresters.
Can I ask you a question?" Biden asked.
"Of course," Geissler answered.
"One of the things that I've been working on with some others is â" Biden said but the audio and video coverage stopped abruptly without warning.
Understandably, the question was not intended to be asked and wasn't not part of the brief or script given to the President. Anticipating trouble, the White House appeared to cut him off mid-sentence.
Interestingly, Biden's White House livestreams, which include translation by an American Sign Language interpreter, was also cut-off midway because of this.
The American Sign Language interpreter who was till then translating Biden's questions and answers, was then replaced by a message that said "THANK YOU FOR JOINING," according to a clip posted on Twitter by the research arm of the Republican National Committee.
Biden Does it Gain
It was recently reported that Biden's White House aides have stopped listening to him when he speaks at news conferences just because they feel embarrassed as the President has the habit of often going off-script. Monday's incident marks the latest example of the White House cutting short its online coverage of Biden.
The President has earlier publicly admitted being a "gaffe machine" throughout his long political career.
Monday's goof up was reminiscent of last month, when the President's audio feed was cut off abruptly just at a time when he was about to reply to a reporter's question on his administration's military withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan.
NBC's Peter Alexander had asked, "If Americans are still in Afghanistan after the deadline what will you do?"
Biden smirked and was about to reply but in order to avoid any controversy White House promptly cut his feed. In a follow-up tweet, backed by additional reporters at the briefing, Alexander noted that Biden answered, "You'll be the first person I call."
Biden has a habit of responding, sometimes angrily at reporters who ask him straightforward questions. After becoming the President he has also repeatedly acknowledged that his aides have told him to stick to his prepared remarks. However, Biden rarely remembers that and Monday was just another occasion, when he was about to go off-script.