'The president speaks for himself': Blinken shuts down GOP senator claiming someone has 'a button' to silence Biden
During a September 14 hearing on the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan, Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho — a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — aggressively questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken. And Risch's questioning took a bizarre turn when Risch demnded to know if members of President Joe Biden's administration sometimes stop him from speaking.
Risch told Blinken, "Somebody in the White House has the authority to press the button and stop the president, cut off the president's speaking ability and sound. Who is that person?"
Blinken, looking both puzzled and amused by Risch's line of questioning, chuckled and responded, "I think anyone who knows the president, including members of this committee, knows that he speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself. No one else does."
But Risch persisted with his line of questioning, telling Blinken, "Are you saying that there's no one in the White House who can cut him off?.... It's been widely reported that somebody has the ability to push the button and cut off his sound and stop him from speaking. Who is that person?"
Blinken replied, "There is no such person. Again, the president speaks for himself, makes all of the strategic decisions informed by the best advice that he can get from the people around him."
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