President Biden responded to questions about the Afghanistan crisis on Wednesday, not from White House reporters, but from former aide to the Clinton administration and current ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, prompting a wave of criticism in the right.
Matt Whitlock, former deputy chief of staff for now-retired Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, called the White House decision to grant Stephanopoulos the exclusive interview “outrageous.”
“Scandalous view for Biden to do a friendly interview with former Democratic staff member George Stephanopoulos but not answer questions from the press,” tweeted Mr. Whitlock, vice president of CRC Advisors.
Biden made comments early Wednesday about the new coronavirus vaccine and masks, but left without taking questions from the press corps.
Former Trump administration official Richard Grenell blamed Stephanopoulos for not pressuring Biden over his response to photos showing hundreds of Afghans crammed into a U.S. C-17 transport plane, with some falling from outside the plane, after the Taliban took over. Kabul.
“We have seen those hundreds of people crammed into a C-17. We have seen the Afghans fall… ”said Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Biden interrupted by saying, “That was four days ago, five days ago,” even though the incident reportedly occurred on Monday.
According to the ABC News video, Mr. Stephanopoulos went on to say, “What did you think when you saw those photos for the first time?”
Grenell tweeted that Stephanopoulos “let Joe Biden get away with saying that the C17 takeoff was ‘4 or 5 days ago.’ It was not. And it doesn’t matter when it was. Stephanopoulos is an activist Democrat. “
Scandalous optics for Biden to do a friendly interview with former Democratic staff member George Stephanopoulos but not answer questions from the press.
– Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) August 18, 2021
Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s “This Week,” and co-host of “Good Morning America,” was former President Bill Clinton’s campaign manager and White House senior policy adviser, joining the network after leaving the Clinton administration. in 1996.
One commenter on Twitter said, “This is like Kelly Anne Conway interviewing a Republican,” referring to Kellyanne Conway, former President Donald Trump’s top aide.
Another said: “Seriously, an exclusive interview with Stephanopoulos confirms that admin. it is now in damage control mode. “
“Even a freaky Democrat like Stephanopoulos can’t save Biden from himself,” said the @craftmastah account.
The Patriot editor said that even though the president had refused to answer reporters’ questions before, “Biden had sat down with George Stephanopoulos before. Good and trustworthy George. Biden needed a lap dog and there are few more obedient. “
Biden was prepared for an interview with George Stephanopoulos and he still made mistakes. That is why it will not accept questions from the press. https://t.co/pCoodh6pjT
– Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) August 18, 2021
Stephanopoulos’s biography on the ABC News website lists his role in the Clinton administration, as well as his journalism awards as a network presenter.
“For more than two decades, his reach and experience have played a pivotal role in the network, garnering three Emmy Awards, a DuPont, three Murrows and two Cronkite Awards,” the biography reads.