It all got a little tense on Fox & Friends Friday morning as the hosts rowed with each other about President Biden’s media arrangements.
Brian Kilmeade went on a rant after showing a clip of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answering questions about why Biden isn’t holding a joint press conference with Irish leader Leo Varadkar during Varadkar’s visit to Washington, D.C., this week.
“Obviously she has no message, she plays defense and just deflects every single question she gets,” Kilmeade said of Jean-Pierre. “Think about what’s happened over the last 48 hours. We had a banking crisis. [Biden] gives a three-minute speech and literally turns away from all these questions.”
Kilmeade went on to say, “Then we get a drone, a Predator drone, shot out of the sky by the Russians,” referring to the incident involving a MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday. Steve Doocy could be heard interrupting his colleague to say the drone was actually “clipped” by Russian jets—which is what the Pentagon says brought the drone down—but Kilmeade rolled on anyway, calling the incident “one of the most substantial clashes between two powers that we’ve seen over the last 50 years.”
Kilmeade also bemoaned that Biden was instead “talking about guns” and attending a fundraiser instead of explaining his responses to various crises—including “fentanyl and the border”—to the American people. “This is the type of thing you’d want to do if you run to be leader of the country,” Kilmeade said. “Instead, he runs from the press. It is so disrespectful to the people and to the press corps.”
“Well, he gets away with it,” Doocy replied. “They want to keep a clean slate until he declares he’s running for re-election, and so that’s what they’re gonna do.”
“Tell that to the Russians,” Kilmeade hit back. “He can’t do it! You’re president of the United States—it’s not up to you to have a clean slate. You’re not running for office, you’re in office.”
Doocy and Kilmeade then started talking over each other as Doocy pointed out that, as president, Biden can “do what he wants” as Kilmeade continued to insist “it’s not acceptable.” “By who?” Doocy asked. “By us!” Kilmeade said. “Is it acceptable to you? Are you OK with that? Turning your back on the press?”
Doocy said he wanted to hear from Biden as much as possible but that it was ultimately the president’s decision whether or not to speak. “It’s a terrible choice,” Kilmeade grumbled.
At that point, host Ainsley Earhardt tried to make a diplomatic intervention. “Listen, if that’s gonna be [Biden’s] choice, then he has to be open to criticism,” she said. “The American people want to hear from him, and when our banks are collapsing and people are scared, the president should come out and speak. But it is his choice not to.”
But Kilmeade wasn’t done.
“If Donald Trump chose not to talk about the pandemic and avoid criticism, that would be a terrible decision because you have an opportunity to lead.” he said. “The Russians just shot a $50 million Predator drone out of the sky and they’re trying to fish out the cutting-edge technology,” Kilmeade continued, repeating his inaccurate version of events.
This time Doocy didn’t set the record straight, instead bringing the row to an end on a conciliatory note. “Actually, we’re probably the only channel that’s talking about the fact that he’s not having a press conference,” Doocy said, before the program moved swiftly on to a segment about March Madness.