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‘That’s Inappropriate’: KJP, WHCA President Simultaneously Scold Reporter Who Takes Swipe At Biden’s Cognitive State

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and White House press director Kelly O'Donnell reprimanded reporters who criticized President Joe Biden's cognitive status.

Newsmax White House correspondent James Rosen interrupted O'Donnell's question, questioning whether the president was “woke” enough to assure reporters he would remain in the race in 2024. The White House has maintained that Biden will remain in the race after his poor debate performance cast doubt on his ability to serve a second term.

“Am I saying he's definitely going to run?” O'Donnell said at a press conference Wednesday.

“Yes, that's what he says and I agree with him,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I would like to invite the president here and have him tell him that in person,” O'Donnell replied.

“We acknowledge Mr. Kelly's comments,” the spokesman said.

“If he's awake,” Rosen interjected.

“That's inappropriate,” O'Donnell responded.

“As we have heard from our colleague, the WHCA president, that is inappropriate,” the spokesman said.

Former Daily Caller White House correspondent Saagher Enjeti noted that reporters encouraged former CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta to “scream like a banshee” during a briefing held by former President Donald Trump's communications team. Acosta had his press credentials temporarily revoked by the Trump administration after he got into a heated argument with the then-president and refused to return the microphone to an intern in the room. (Related: Newsmax's James Rosen presses KJP for ignoring Biden's “dismal” approval ratings)

During a press conference on Tuesday, Jean-Pierre yelled at Rosen, who had asked Biden if he was “disabled.” The spokesman called him out for “inappropriate” behavior and did not recall him afterward.

A spokesman said the president had a cold during the debate but maintained he had the willpower to go through with the important event. The campaign and White House made no public announcement of a possible illness before the debate.

Biden's aides reportedly hid the president from the public to hide his mental health, Axios reportMany White House aides, who had distanced themselves from the president throughout his first term, were also shocked by what they saw at the debate.

The Biden campaign and congressional Democrats have been hesitant to allow Biden to debate Trump for months, despite the Trump campaign's repeated invitations to the president. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois warned in January that Biden should “think carefully” about debating Trump, citing Trump's propensity for “outrageous” statements and actions. Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware argued that Trump's behavior in the 2020 debates and his refusal to debate his Republican primary opponents were reasons for Biden to avoid debating Trump.

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