Secretary of State Antony Blinken expertly shut down Idaho Senator Jim Risch when he asked who in the White House has the power to "push the button" and shut off President Biden's mic. The exchange occurred during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where Risch insisted that someone had cut off the president's microphone during a press conference.
"Look, we've all seen this; we saw it as recently as yesterday. Somebody in the White House has the authority to press the button and [...] cut off the president's speaking ability and sound. Who is that person?"
Blinken replied while appearing to try not to laugh:
"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."
"There is—there is no such person."
Again, the president speaks for himself. [He] makes all of his strategic decisions informed by the best advice he can get from the people around him."
View the exchange between Blinken and Risch below:
The first line of questioning to Secretary of State Antony Blinken from a Senate Republican during today's hearing… https://t.co/C62IJWQUJf
Outlets like Fox News have latched on to the idea that someone is censoring the President's speeches and run with it, reporting that someone in the White House is preventing him from speaking. They reported that someone had cut the feed during President Biden's briefing on wildfires in Boise, Idaho on Monday.
"This isn't the first time the White House intervened in blocking Biden from being heard by the general public."
Fox News maintained that someone was attempting to censor the president before he could deviate from what he was told to say.
CNN's Daniel Dale broke down what actually happened on Twitter.
Prompted by a Republican National Committee tweet, right-wing media covered this like the White House was nervously… https://t.co/FR9kp6k5IG