U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) says it’s a “fact” President Joe Biden is mentally “disadvantaged” and a puppet of someone in the White House. Risch, who is 78 and infamously fell sleep during the the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, is the Ranking Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“What do you think we need to get to the bottom to is, who’s responsible for this, who made the decisions?” Senator Risch asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken during Tuesday’s hearing on Afghanistan.
“There’s real questions right now as to who’s making the decisions,” he claimed, feeding in to far right wing conspiracy theories.
“We know for a fact that the President of the United States is, uh, somewhat disadvantaged here in that someone’s calling the shots,” Risch lied.
“He can’t even speak without someone in the White House censoring it or for signing off on it. As recently as yesterday in mid-sentence he was cut off by someone in the White House who makes the decision that the President United States is not speaking correctly. So I’d like to know who this person is.
“This is a puppeteer act if you would and we need to know who’s in charge and who’s making these decisions.”
“Somebody in the White House has the authority to stop the President’s speaking ability,” Risch later in the hearing claimed.
“Who is that person?” he demanded Blinken tell him.
Secretary Blinken chuckled and replied, “There is no such person.”
CNN’s Jim Sciutto pushes back on Sen. Risch’s false claims, noting that President Biden made the calls on Afghanistan “over objections of his military advisors.”
NB: @SenatorRisch none too subtly there indulges the Biden not-all-there BS calling BIden “disadvantaged” & alleging “someone’s calling the shots”in the WH, while the evidence shows – whether you disagree or not – this was Biden’s call over objections of his military advisors.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 14, 2021
.@SenatorRisch: "Somebody in the White House has authority to press the button and stop the president, cut off the president's speaking ability and sound. Who is that person?"
Sec. Blinken laughs and after being asked the question again: "There is no such person." pic.twitter.com/v5y0h5dCoA
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 14, 2021
UPDATE II –
CNN fact checker Daniel Dale debunks Risch’s false claims:
Prompted by a Republican National Committee tweet, right-wing media covered this like the White House was nervously censoring Biden as he went off script. In fact, as you've probably seen, it's entirely normal for the press to be ushered out/the cam to be shut off mid-meeting.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 14, 2021
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