Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Long-simmering tensions between Biden’s family and aides spill out

By 37ci3 Jul6,2024


President Joe Biden’s family is trying to get more involved in his campaign and White House affairs as his anger at his staff spills over into the public eye.

One person with knowledge of the family dynamic said: “The fiasco in the talks opened a way for the family to outmaneuver the staff and start helping their much-loved father and brother.”

The rift between the president’s family and some of his closest aides has been simmering for a long time, and his debate performance worsened the dynamic, 13 sources familiar with the dynamic told NBC News. According to some Biden aides, the family is taking the opportunity to try to settle old scores. Family members say the debate is the culmination of misguided advice from aides who didn’t believe they were helping the president best showcase his political appeal.

The infighting has angered some Biden staffers, who see finger-pointing getting in the way of a comprehensive approach to help the president deal with the crisis.

“It’s not helpful,” said one Biden campaign aide. According to some of Biden’s allies, the president’s aides are doing most of the work of managing and coordinating the post-debate strategy, while the family takes a more emotional approach to the situation.

Another person close to the president said that the Biden family does not see political reality clearly.

“It’s Shakespeare,” said this person.

In an interview with ABC News on Friday, Biden said he took full responsibility for his debate performance.no one is to blame but me.”

Hunter Biden’s appearance at White House meetings This week was just one example of what is expected to be a deeper involvement of the Biden family. So does the president’s sister, Valerie Owens He visited Washington He had planned to join other family members at the White House this week and have face-to-face meetings about his brother’s campaign.

There are members of the Biden family was discussed White House chief counsel Anita Dunn and her husband, Biden’s personal lawyer Bob Bauer, will be fired, two people familiar with the matter said. However, four sources close to the Biden family said there is currently no active effort to shake up the staff. They said that among people close to the president, there is an attempt to be measured, to be careful, to think and think.

“The president and first lady have full confidence in their team, including Anita and Bob,” White House chief of staff Jeff Zients said. “These baseless and offensive rumors have no truth.”

After the debate, Biden family members of the president in the White House and some of the campaign aides they threw the president under the bus instead of taking responsibility for what led to a disastrous debate performance, according to one of the sources.

President Joe Biden, center, walks with his family on the grass at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington
President Joe Biden spent the 4th of July holiday with his family, including his son Hunter Biden, grandson Beau Biden (behind Hunter Biden), Melissa Cohen Biden and first lady Jill Biden.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

“I believe the family has witnessed blunder after blunder by key staff and the discussions are likely to be the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the source said. “Post-debate, instead of taking responsibility, the supposedly loyal staff pointed the finger at the president: ‘It’s his fault,'” he said. “I can think of no other single action that would excite the Biden family more.”

The bigger concern now among some in Biden’s inner circle is that differences between them, long resolved internally, risk becoming public as pressure mounts on the president. Five sources familiar with the matter said the family’s conversations focused mainly on how to support the president moving forward.

The dynamic became so tense that on Sunday, after Biden was informed that the family had pointed fingers at his debate preparation team, the president personally called Ron Klein, his former chief of staff and longtime adviser, to say it did not reflect his opinion. or family thinking.

Among Biden’s closest advisers, it is often acknowledged that Biden is at his best off the headlines and off the record. For example, some of his strongest moments in his last two State of the Union speeches came when he sparred with Republican critics on the House floor instead of reading from a teleprompter.

But when pressed about why he’s not in those settings more often, they often point fingers at each other, suggesting it’s a diverse group of advisers protecting him from scrutiny or settings where he can make missteps.

Some who joined the family blamed “the firm,” as they called it, of overcontrolling the president, but advisers often subtly suggested that it was the family — both his blood relatives and some longtime employees who were considered family. protects against failure.

That has led allies to question whether fear of outrage has made Biden overprotected or isolated, or whether such bubbles have made him less capable than before over a longer period of time.

Hunter Biden has a growing presence confused some White House staff and revived the long-sore spot.

For the family, it’s about “reopening old wounds,” especially Bauer and Dunn and Hunter’s advice that Biden keep a lower profile than he has in the past two years, said a source familiar with the family and staff dynamics.

Michael LaRosa, the first lady’s former White House communications chief, defended Hunter Biden’s involvement in politics, saying the president’s son has demonstrated savvy as a Yale-educated lawyer.

“He’s been more effective in media strategy and political knife-fighting than the campaign has ever been, and they have $250 million,” LaRosa said in an interview.

“At the end of the day, [president Biden is] is extremely close to his children, brothers and sisters, and values ​​their unfiltered advice … and if they feel that they are outsiders looking in, it would be pointless for them to be disappointed.”

Comment requested Hunter existence “Hunter returned with the president from the family weekend at Camp David and went directly with the president to prepare for the speech,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in White House meetings this week, pointing to Biden’s preparation for the debate. of the Supreme Court presidential immunity decision.

It was Hunter Biden was found guilty last month By a jury in federal court in Delaware on gun charges. He remains indicted for serious tax crimes to which he has pleaded not guilty.

He has long been the focus of attacks from Republicans, including former President Donald Trump himself, over questions about Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and whether he benefited from his father’s political status.

A source familiar with the family and staff dynamics said Dunn and Bauer have not shied away from telling the president and first lady “the truth,” which other aides who have spent more time with them can sometimes shy away from.

“Anita is one of the most respected people in the White House, in the campaign, and in the Democratic Party,” a Biden aide said, “and we have real fears that we will not be able to recover and bounce back and win without her leadership, just as she did in early 2020 from early losses.” helped the president when he pulled over and continued to bash Trump.

In a television interview Friday, Biden repeatedly referred to his 2020 victory, pointing to his ability to beat Trump once and the unexpectedly strong midterm results for Democrats in 2022, which he said he had previously calculated and delivered.

“We’ve done better in one year than almost any sitting president has,” Biden said.

He also dismissed any calls for him to step aside, saying only “the Lord Almighty” could convince him to pull out of the race and “the Lord Almighty will not come down”.



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