POLITICO claims to have spoken to five White house officials and Democrats “close to the administration not authorized to publicly discuss internal conversations”, who say that internal tensions in the White House have grown as aides engage in “finger-pointing” and panic over staff shakeups.
“President Joe Biden and his aides have grown increasingly frustrated by their inability to turn the tide against a cascade of challenges threatening to overwhelm the administration,” according to the report.
Among the hurdles, the article cited issues such as soaring global inflation, rising fuel prices, Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, the potential resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, abortion rights and Congress’ inability to pass sweeping gun legislation.
POLITICO’s sources also told the outlet that Biden has become especially exasperated that his poll numbers have sunk below his predecessor Donald Trump’s, to whom Biden reportedly refers to in private as “the worst president in history” and “an existential threat to the nation’s democracy”.
“A lot of things are out of his control and we are frustrated and all Democrats — not just the White House but anyone with a platform — need to do a better of job of reminding Americans of how terrible it would be if Republicans take control,” senior aide on Biden’s transition team Adrienne Elrod was quoted as saying by POLITICO.
The White House also allegedly plans to increase its attacks on the Republican party ahead of the upcoming midterm elections in November. However, that task has also been complicated by the recent mass exodus of the administration’s communication staff, including White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki as well as several deputy press aides.
After several members of Biden’s inner circle complained that his aides have “managed Biden with kid gloves” by not putting him on the road more often, the White House reportedly plans to put Biden back in the spotlight by having him make a series of trips to highlight the progress that is being made, even if it’s only incremental.
One person “close to the president” told POLITICO that several people in the administration have been pushing for getting Biden to “flash more of his genuine, relatable, albeit gaffe-prone self” and allow more “let Biden be Biden” moments after the president himself complained about not getting to interact enough with voters.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates responded to POLITICO’s article by stating that “this depiction of the White House is simply divorced from reality”. He also noted that none of the claims in the article were ever verified with the White House communications team before publication.