At a recent NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, President Biden demonstrated his annoyance with the press, culminating in sarcastic comments aimed at reporters. This episode occurred as they were exiting a meeting between him and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Biden suggested it was time for the press to depart, then delivered a biting retort to the reporters’ persistent questioning.
Biden and Zelenskyy were discussing Ukraine’s potential entry into NATO. “I hope we finally have put to bed the notion about whether or not Ukraine is welcome in NATO. It’s going to happen,” Biden confidently stated. Following this, he indicated that it was time for the reporters to leave, a cue met with laughter by those present.
Despite aides’ orders for the press to exit, several reporters continued questioning Zelenskyy. “President Zelenskyy, are you satisfied with what you got from NATO? You were so frustrated yesterday. Is this enough? Are you satisfied, sir?” one asked. Zelenskyy responded positively, expressing satisfaction with the summit and unity among leaders.
The media’s questioning persisted, and Biden interjected with a sarcastic response to a reporter’s query about Ukraine’s timeline for joining NATO post-war. “An hour and 20 minutes,” he jestingly retorted, then added, “You guys ask really insightful questions!” in a thinly veiled insult that drew amusement from Zelenskyy.
This interaction epitomizes the continuing tension between Biden and the press, underlining a series of incidents where Biden has notably disparaged reporters throughout his presidency and campaign. For instance, he once told CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins that she was in the “wrong business” after being asked a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin; on a separate occasion, he called Fox News reporter Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a b—-” after Doocy asked Biden about rising inflation.