After being caught on a hot mic making a profane insult about Fox News’ Peter Doocy, President Joe Biden phoned the reporter Monday evening to “clear the air,” Doocy said.
What You Need To Know
- After being caught on a hot mic making a profane insult about Fox News’ Peter Doocy, President Joe Biden phoned the reporter Monday evening to “clear the air,” Doocy said
- At a White House event Monday, Doocy shouted out a question to the president: “Do you think inflation is a political liability at the midterms?”
- Biden, apparently not realizing his mic was still on, responded by sarcastically saying, “That’s a great asset, more inflation,” before adding, “What a stupid son of a b****”
- Doocy said the president said in his call, "Nothing personal, pal," but the Fox News reporter appeared to suggest Biden did not explicity apologize
As reporters were being ushered out of the White House’s East Room after Biden spoke at a Competition Council meeting about increasing competition and attempting to lower prices for consumers, Doocy shouted out a question to the president: “Do you think inflation is a political liability at the midterms?”
Biden, apparently not realizing his mic was still on, responded by sarcastically saying, “That’s a great asset, more inflation,” before adding, “What a stupid son of a b****.”
Talking to Fox’s “The Five” shortly after, Doocy said he did not initially hear the president’s comments because “people were shouting at us to get out.”
“But somebody came up to me in the briefing room a few minutes later and said, ‘Did you hear what the president said?’” Doocy explained. “And I said, ‘No, what?’ They said, ‘He called you a “stupid S.O.B.”’ And I said, ‘Did he say “S.O.B.”’ And the person said no.”
In a later interview on Fox’s “Hannity,” Doocy said Biden called him on his cellphone within an hour of the exchange.
“He said, ‘It’s nothing personal, pal,’” Doocy said. “And we went back and forth, and we were talking about just kind of moving forward. And I made sure to tell him that I’m always going to try to ask something different than what everybody else is asking. And he said, ‘You’ve got to,’ and that’s a quote from the president, so I’ll keep doing it.”
When asked directly if Biden explicitly apologized to him, Doocy said: “He cleared the air, and I appreciate it. We had a nice call.
“I don’t need anybody to apologize to me,” he added. “He can call me whatever he wants, as long as it gets him talking.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed Biden and Doocy spoke by phone as well as Doocy's account of what was said in the call.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning.
Doocy appeared to have a good sense of humor about the incident, joking with “The Five” that “nobody has fact-checked it (the insult) yet and said it’s not true."
But Biden’s remarks toward Doocy drew criticism from some congressional Republicans.
“Mr. President, your nasty remarks toward another member of the press corps are beneath the dignity of the office,” tweeted Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. “As president, you owe Peter Doocy and the American people not only answers on inflation, but an apology for your out-of-line comments.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., suggested there was a double standard after former President Donald Trump was often criticized for his treatment of the press.
At a separate event last week, when asked by Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich about why Biden is "waiting on Putin to make the first move" in terms of a possible invasion of Ukraine, the president replied: "What a stupid question."
This isn't the first time a president, nor Biden, has been caught on a "hot mic" or gotten into sparring matches with members of the press.
In 2010, as Vice President, Biden could be heard telling his boss, then-President Barack Obama, that the signing of the Affordable Care Act was a "big f****** deal."
On the campaign trail in 2000, George W. Bush used an expletive to describe New York Times reporter Adam Clymer.
And Biden's predecessor, former President Donald Trump, used harsh rhetoric to slam members of the press, including calling ABC News' Jonathan Karl “a disgrace,” April Ryan a "loser," temporarily suspended the press credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta and even appeared to mock a reporter's disability on the campaign trail.
Note: This article was updated to include White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirming Biden and Doocy spoke by phone.