White House rips Fox, demands apology over host's Jill Biden comment

White House calls Fox News host ‘disgusting’ and demands an apology for segment saying Jill Biden ‘failed the country’ by letting her ‘mentally frail’ husband Joe run for president

  • Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael La Rosa demanded Fox News apologize 
  • He was reacting to a Sunday segment on Fox & Friends in which co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy seemed to partially blame the first lady for Afghanistan
  • Campos-Duffy suggested the first lady would have stopped Biden from running for president if she ‘loved’ him and said Biden is ‘mentally frail’
  • Campos-Duffy said she was making the comments as a fellow ‘political spouse’
  • Her husband Sean Duffy served in the House of Representatives until 2019  

The Biden White House criticized Fox News on Monday after Fox & Friends weekend host Rachel Campos-Duffy accused first lady Jill Biden of failing the United States by letting Joe Biden run for president.  

‘This is disgusting. @RCampusDuffy and @FoxNews know better. They can do better and their viewers deserve better,’ Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael La Rosa wrote on Twitter. 

‘I hope they’ll apologize to the First Lady and leave this kind of talk in the [trash] where it belongs.’  

Campos-Duffy seemed to partially blame the first lady for the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan during a segment on Sunday.

Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael La Rosa demanded Fox News apologize for comments host Rachel Campos-Duffy made about the first lady

President Joe Biden’s medical history 

Age: 78

Heart: Atrial fibrillation detected in 2003 (an irregular heart beat); 

Brain: Two cerebral aneurysms in 1988 (bulging blood vessels in the brain that burst);

Lungs: pulmonary embolism in 1988 (a blood clot in his lung)

Other ailments: In addition to several sinus surgeries, Biden has had his gallbladder removed and has had several non-melanoma skin cancers removed.

At the end of a segment on Biden’s slipping poll numbers and the US’s chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan, one host said the president’s handling of the crisis was diminishing the country on the world stage.

Campos-Duffy agreed, adding, ‘When you look at what’s hurting America, when you look at this lack of leadership, and you wonder who is responsible for putting someone this incompetent and frankly this mentally frail in this position?’   

‘As a political spouse, I cant help but look at Jill Biden.’

The Fox contributor’s husband is former Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy, who served in Congress until 2019 and later also joined the network. 

While in the House Sean Duffy was an aggressive supporter of former President Trump. Both he and Campos-Duffy were critics of Biden on the campaign trail and questioned the 78-year-old’s mental and physical stamina.

‘No one knew better his state of mind than Jill –  Dr. Jill Biden,’ Campos-Duffy said Sunday, referencing the first lady’s doctorate in education. 

‘And If you ask me, the most patriotic thing Jill Biden could have done was tell her husband – to love her husband – and not let him run in this mental state that he’s in. I think she failed the country as well.’

Campos-Duffy questioned Biden’s state of mind and blamed Jill Biden for not stopping his successful presidential bid

DailyMail.com has reached out to Fox News for comment.  

But a majority of Americans may agree with Campos-Duffy’s assessment of Biden’s mental health, according to a recent poll taken late last week.  

Among likely US voters surveyed by Rasmussen Reports, 52 percent said they are not confident Biden is up to being president while more than a third – 41 percent – said they are ‘not confident at all.’

Just 46 percent of respondents are confident in his mental and physical capabilities. 

At age 78, Biden is the oldest president ever sworn into office. Concerns over his mental and physical fitness for such a demanding role plagued his campaign.

When he chose Vice President Kamala Harris as his running mate, critics predicted the younger Democrat would be controlling the White House operation.

But according to Rasmussen Reports’ poll data, 51 percent of likely voters believe other people are making decisions for Biden and only 39 percent think he’s in charge. Ten percent said they were unsure.

The number of people who think Biden is in control was 47 percent in March, a significant slip. 

His mental acuity came under scrutiny most recently amid the US’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal.

Biden delivered remarks on Friday that seemed to contradict his own Pentagon’s intelligence on Al Qaeda. 

Minutes after the president claimed the terrorist group was ‘gone’ in Afghanistan, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said there was a presence but that it wasn’t ‘significant.’

‘We know that Al-Qaeda is a presence…in Afghanistan,’ Kirby said. ‘We don’t have an exact figure [of how many members].

More Americans think Biden is not physically or mentally capable of being president than those who think he is

More than half the people surveyed think someone else is pulling the strings at the White House

At another point during the speech, Biden told a reporter ‘I can’t remember’ part of his question after he just asked it. 

The president also slipped up and called Qatar’s capital city of Doha ‘Daho.’

Asked about assurances of security for people making to the airport, Biden responded: ‘We’ve been in constant contact with the Taliban leadership on the ground in Kabul, as well as the Taliban leadership in Daho’ – accidentally transposing the letters in the capital of Qatar.

‘And we’ve been coordinating what we’re doing,’ he added.

He did not immediately correct himself, but he later referred to the location correctly when defending the way the evacuation was handled. ‘The point was that although we were in contact with the Taliban and Doha for this whole period of time,’ there wasn’t expected to be a ‘total demise’ of the Afghan military, Biden said.

Overall favorability in Biden’s job as president slipped below 50 percent for the first time in his tenure last week. Currently he has an approval-disapproval of 42.2 to 46.4 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight.

His wife’s public favorability is slightly higher according to YouGov, at 50 percent.

However her unfavorability is far beneath his, sitting around 27 percent.  

Is this man fit for office? Doctors say they would be concerned about ‘anyone’ with Joe Biden’s symptoms at age 78 after two brain aneurysms and a heart condition – which are BOTH linked to memory problems 

 Questions have been raised about US President Joe Biden’s cognitive wellbeing after a car crash interview over his handling of the unfolding Afghanistan crisis. 

America’s oldest president provided jumbled responses to questions and mixed up details about his son in an interview with ABC.

The stumbles did not make the broadcasted version but were revealed when a full transcript of the interview was published overnight. 

It revealed the President incorrectly stated his late son Beau Biden worked for the Navy in Afghanistan, before correcting himself that he served for the Army in Iraq.

It follows a spate of gaffes and slips of the tongue since the 78-year-old ran his successful presidential campaign in 2019.

Mr Biden has previously suffered two brain aneurysms and a heart condition which makes the muscle beat too fast, causing dizziness and confusion.

A top cardiologist told MailOnline today that both conditions are linked to memory difficulties and confusion, as well as dementia.  

Dr Aseem Malhotra, an NHS consultant and expert in evidence-based medicine, said: ‘Certainly there’s a link [between the conditions and cognitive decline].

‘But just as a doctor observing him, given his medical history and age, I’m worried about early onset dementia.

‘I would be worried about anyone exhibiting issues with recall and memory at Joe Biden’s age.’ 

And Dr Amit Bajaj, an associate professor in speech science Emerson University in Boston Massachusetts, agreed that the reasons behind Mr Biden’s increasing number of gaffes might be because of declining cognitive health in old age.

Joe Biden spoke to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday night. On Thursday the transcript was published, which showed that parts of his remarks, where he tied himself in verbal knots, were not included

Mr Biden suffered two brain aneurysms in 1988 while trying to secure the Democratic presidential nomination, which went to Michael Dukakis. He had surgery to treat the life-threatening conditions.

Scientists warn those who suffer aneurysms – bulging blood vessels that usually occur in the brain or arteries that burst – may face memory difficulties, such as problems absorbing, storing and recalling information.  

Mr Biden is known for his blunders and even referred to himself as a ‘gaffe machine’ in 2018.

Just last month he forgot his reasons for running for president, and when he was newly elected he referred to his deputy as ‘President Kamala Harris’.  

The President also suffers from atrial fibrillation – a condition that causes an irregular or fast heart beat.

Doctors first diagnosed Mr Biden’s condition in 2003 when he had his gallbladder removed.

Medics have warned the condition can cause tiny blood clots that slowly injure parts of the brain over time, which can cause thinking and memory problems.

As America’s oldest President, age may also be catching up on the lifelong politician. The risk of dementia doubles every five years after age 65 and one in six people have it by age 80.

Mr Biden has also experienced accidents since becoming President, including falling three times on one occasion in March while climbing up the stairs of Air Force One.

And last November he suffered hairline fractures in his food when playing with one of his dogs and had to wear a protective boot for weeks.

He also introduced his granddaughter as his deceased son Beau, who passed away from brain cancer in 2015.

And he confused Libya and Syria when at the G7 summit in June.  

The blunders have led a number of US commentators and critics to say he is too old to be the US leader.

Ex-white house doctor Ronny Jackson said Mr Biden’s memory slips meant he was unfit to run the country

And Obama’s former physician Dr David Scheiner said the President is ‘not a healthy guy’ and has concerns about him having a stroke due to his heart condition.

Dr Bajaj told MailOnline: ‘He has a reputation for gaffes. It’s hard to say if it is interlacing with anticipatory anxiety. 

‘I think there are several contributing factors. Part of is the speech. Part of it is cognitively where he might be at because he is old. 

‘But the relative influence of any one of them is uncertain. It’s probably a mix of both.’

But his personal physician Dr Kevin O’Connor said in a medical report published in December 2019 that he was a ‘healthy and vigorous’ man who was ‘fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency’.

And Professor James Rowe, a dementia and neurodegeneration expert at Cambridge University said Mr Biden’s memory gaffes ‘are common and do not in themselves indicate a condition, let alone dementia’.

He added: ‘They are especially common when people are busy or tired after a long day, and over 50-years-old.

Many over-50 ‘will recognise the “tip of the tongue” problem when a name does not come immediately to mind, or momentarily swapping names between people (or pets) close to them’, Professor Rowe said.

Professor Sophie Scott, an expert in cognitive neuroscience, told MailOnline that the long-term effects of brain aneurysms depend on where in the brain it was, as well as whether and how early it was treated.

If people are treated early enough, they can have ‘very few lasting problems’, she said.

Professor Scott said: ‘Forgetfulness is a normal part of ageing – names in particular can be a problem for people as they age, maybe because there is not much information in a name to help you to connect it to the person.’

Information is much easier to store in the brain, because people process it by thinking about its meaning, she explained. But names do not have much meaning, other than a rough guide to gender and culture, so it’s much harder to remember, she added. 

Biden tells reporter ‘I can’t remember’ the first part of his question, calls the Qatar capital ‘Daho’ and is criticized for being in an ‘alternate reality’ on the Taliban in Friday speech 

Here are the seven contentious moments from the president’s news conference:

Biden proclaims al-Qaeda is ‘gone’ in Afghanistan, in direct contradiction with the Pentagon’s assessment

‘What interest do we have in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda gone?’ Biden rhetorically asked the White House press corps. 

That assertion stands in direct contradiction to a report from the Defense Department Inspector general on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, covering April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.

‘The Taliban continued to maintain its relationship with al-Qaeda, providing safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan,’ the report read. 

A key provision of the US withdrawal under the Taliban peace deal was that the Taliban would not harbor terrorists, thus the report signals the US upheld its end of the deal even though the Taliban did not. 

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, shortly after the president’s news conference, disputed his claim al-Qaeda had no presence in Afghanistan, but said: ‘there isn’t a presence significant enough to merit a threat to our homeland.’

 ‘We know that Al-Qaeda is a presence…in Afghanistan,’ Kirby said. ‘We don’t have an exact figure [of how many members]. 

On Monday, the day after the fall of Kabul, pro-al Qaeda social media accounts circulated an unsigned statement congratulating their Taliban ‘brothers’ on their stunning victory. 

‘Afghanistan is Conquered and Islam has Won,’ read the message, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Biden himself said in an ABC interview released Thursday that al-Qaeda could resurge in Afghanistan even sooner than original intelligence predictions of 18-24 months. 

‘Could [al-Qaeda resurgence] be sooner?’ ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Biden. ‘It could be. But George, look, here’s the deal. Al Qaeda, ISIS, they metastasize,’ the president said, adding that al-Qaeda was a bigger threat in Syria and East Africa. 

Biden says he has seen ‘no indication’ Americans have had a tough time getting to the airport, but American journalists on the ground say otherwise  

‘We have no indication that [Americans] have not been able to get, in Kabul, through the airport. We have made an agreement with the Taliban. Thus far, they have allowed them to go through,’ Biden told reporters. 

‘To the best of our knowledge, the Taliban checkpoints, they are letting through people showing American passports,’ Biden said. 

Days ago the US State Department told Americans to get to the Kabul airport on their own to be evacuated. ‘THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT ENSURE SAFE PASSAGE TO THE HAMID KARZAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT,’ they wrote in a memo. 

State Department spokesman Ned Price in a subsequent news conference  conceded that Americans were having a difficult time getting to the airport. 

‘It remains to be the case that many Afghans and many American citizens have not been able to get through,’ a reporter noted. ‘I don’t think anyone is denying the reports,’ Price said. 

‘We had difficulty getting into the airport. Working out how to get to the airport is like a Rubik’s cube,’ CNN’s Clarissa Ward, reporting from Kabul, said. ‘I can’t get into the details of how we did get in but it’s very difficult … and it’s dangerous.’ 

‘The president said he has no intelligence that the Americans have not been able to get [to the Kabul airport]. The question, obviously—does that square with reporting on ground?’ ABC’s David Muir asked foreign correspondent Ian Pannell. 

‘I mean – totally not,’ Pannell responded. ‘It just seems the reality and the rhetoric are miles apart. I’m not quite sure what advice the president is receiving but the truth on the ground is these people in fear of their lives can’t get through.’  

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a briefing call with House lawmakers that Americans had been beaten by Taliban, which he called ‘unacceptable.’   

Following Biden’s speech, Fox News national security reporter Jennifer Griffin blasted Biden for living in an ‘alternate reality.’

‘I’m having a hard time digesting what we heard because I couldn’t fact-check it fast enough in real-time because there were so many misrepresentations of what is happening on the ground,’ she said, adding that it was ‘an alternate reality presented by the White House.’

‘The first part of your question was — I can’t remember now.’ 

‘This is about America leading the world, and all our allies have agreed to that. And by the way, before I made this decision, I was at the G7, as well as met with our NATO partners, and I told them all, every one of them knew and agreed with the decision I made, to jointly end our involvement in Afghanistan. The first part of your question was — I can’t remember now,’ the president told a reporter.  

‘Would you make the same commitment to bring out Afghans who assisted in the war effort?’ 

‘Yes, yes, we’re making the same commitment,’ the president said, adding that evacuating special immigrant visa recipients was ‘equally important, almost,’ as evacuating American citizens. 

‘I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world,’ Biden said, but British MPs tore into the president’s Afghanistan pullout on Wednesday

Tom Tugendhat, veteran and Tory chairman of the foreign affairs committee, called Biden’s criticisms of Afghan soldiers ‘shameful.’ 

‘To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, to claim that they ran, is shameful,’ he said this week.  

Khalid Mahmood, a Labour MP and former defence minister, said, according to The Telegraph: ‘The Biden government have just come in and, without looking at what is happening on the ground, have taken a unilateral decision, throwing us and everybody else to the fire.’  

 Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: ‘The American decision to withdraw was not just a mistake – it was an avoidable mistake, from President Trump’s flawed to President Biden’s decision to proceed, and to proceed in such a disastrous way.’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed the US and said that Biden’s decision had forced his hand to end British involvement in Afghanistan. 

‘The West could not continue this US-led mission – a mission conceived and executed in support and defense of America – without American logistics, without US air power and without American might,’ he said. 

Biden flubs Doha, Qatar, calling it ‘Daho’

Asked about assurances of security for people making to the airport, Biden responded: ‘We’ve been in constant contact with the Taliban leadership on the ground in Kabul, as well as the Taliban leadership in Daho’ – accidentally transposing the letters in the capital of Qatar.

‘And we’ve been coordinating what we’re doing,’ he added.

He did not immediately correct himself, but he later referred to the location correctly when defending the way the evacuation was handled. ‘The point was that although we were in contact with the Taliban and Doha for this whole period of time,’ there wasn’t expected to be a ‘total demise’ of the Afghan military, Biden said.

Biden, asked why his administration ignored a cable warning of the swift fall of Kabul, responds: ‘We got all kinds of cables’  

 ‘We learned over the last 24 hours that there was a dissent cable from the State Department saying that the Taliban would come faster… Can you say why after that cable was issued, the U.S. didn’t do more?’ a reporter asked the president. 

‘We got all kinds of cables, we got all kinds of advice,’ Biden said. 

‘I took the consensus opinion the consensus was in fact it would not occur if it occurred until later in the year.’ 

On Friday the Wall Street Journal reported that State Department officials in Kabul had warned the Biden administration that the Afghan capital would fall. 

A dozen diplomats sent a confidential memo in a dissent channel to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on July 13 that the Taliban was rapidly gaining ground and the city was vulnerable to collapse.

On July 8, President Biden said it was ‘highly unlikely’ the Taliban would take control of Afghanistan and denied there would be chaos in Kabul.

But then on Wednesday this week, Biden said there was ‘no way’ to leave Afghanistan without chaos ensuing.   

Afghan security forces were collapsing, the diplomats said in the memo, and offered ways to mitigate the advancing insurgents.

But it may have been too late to stop them.

The State Department memo, according to the report, also called for the government to use tougher language on the violence in the past from the Taliban and urged them to start collecting information for Afghan allies who qualified for Special Immigrant Visas after working with US forces.

The Journal reported that 23 Embassy staffers signed the cable and rushed to deliver it considering the deteriorating situation in Kabul.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reviewed the cable, a personal familiar with it told the paper.

Biden signals he’ll work with the Taliban after his administration said they would pressure the international community not to recognize a Taliban government

 ‘There’s going to be harsh, strong conditions we’re going to apply, and it will depend on whether they get help based on whether or not how and well they treat women and girls and how they treat their citizens,’ Biden said.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US’ chief negotiator with the Taliban, traveled to Doha less than two weeks ago to inform the Taliban the US and its allies would not recognize its government if it came to power through force. 

A Taliban spokesman said this week: ‘We are guaranteeing all their rights within the limits of Islam.’ 

Another Taliban spokesman vouched that women would be happy, if they followed Sharia law: ‘If they continue to live according to Sharia, we will be happy, they will be happy.’

Biden admits his administration still doesn’t know how many Americans are in Afghanistan

The government is working ‘to verify the number of Americans still in country as we work on this,’ the president said.

 ‘We moved out 5,700 evacuees yesterday, and we’re working on a variety — to verify that number of the Americans that are still in the country as we work on this because we’re not — don’t have the exact number of people who are — Americans who are there,’ Biden said. ‘And those who may have come home to the United States, we’re not — we want to get a strong number as to exactly how many people are there, how many American citizens, and where they are.

In his Wednesday interview with ABC News, Biden said there were between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans still in Afghanistan.

An administration official said Thursday that 13,000 people had been evacuated on US military aircraft since August 14.

Source: Read Full Article