President Joe Biden teased a reporter after he asked a long-winded question and then requested follow-up queries ― one of which went on for a bit. (Watch the video below.)
“You want to make a speech?” Biden cracked to Joey Garrison of USA Today.
Biden was holding a press conference with Australian PM Anthony Albanese at the White House when Garrison brought up the war in the Middle East. But he took his time in doing it.
“Mr. President, I want to ask about the conflict — the war in the Middle East. Twenty-four U.S. troops have been injured during 10 drone or rocket attacks on bases in Iraq and three in Syria over the past week. You’ve told Iran to quote, “Be careful,” as your administration tries to prevent the Israeli-Hamas war from expanding into a larger Middle East conflict. But should Americans be worried that the war already is escalating? And after you answer that question, I’d like one more follow-up, please.”
A smiling Biden said, “About one or two more, huh?”
“Two or three,” Garrison said to laughter.
Biden proceeded to answer Garrison’s initial question. He said the U.S. has had troops in the region since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and warned Iran not to move against U.S. forces or face the consequences. “It has nothing to do with Israel,” he said.
“Well, let me — let me ask my follow-up here. I want to discuss — oh, here we go — yeah, your conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who, obviously, you’ve known for decades, and you had a very emotional trip there last week to Israel,” Garrison said. “Have you sought assurances from him that he will hold off on a ground invasion into Gaza until the safe relief — release of the hostages can be assured? And, of course, those include 10 unaccounted-for Americans.”
“No,” the president answered. “What I have indicated to him is that if that’s possible to get these folks out safely, that’s what he should do. It’s their decision, but I did not demand it. I pointed out to him: If it’s real, it should be done. Thank you.”
Garrison wasn’t done, though. “But aren’t these hostages in jeopardy if there is a ground invasion?” he asked.
“You want to make a speech?” Biden joked. “Now, look, obviously, they’re in jeopardy. The question is whether or not there’s any way of getting them out. If we can get them out, we should get them out.”
Fast-forward to 16:25 for the exchange:
Some of Biden’s responses to reporters are far less friendly, especially when they’re from Fox News.