First Lady Jill Biden was reportedly so upset by a lengthy 2022 press conference by President Biden that she berated him and his aides afterward, demanding to know why no one put an end to it.
“Where were you guys?“ she asked the aides, according to a new book. “Where was the person who was going to end the press conference?”
In the forthcoming book about modern First Ladies titled “American Woman,” author Katie Rogers wrote that Jill Biden confronted President Biden himself and his aides after the Jan. 19, 2022, news conference, which marked his first year in office. During the nearly two-hour conference, Biden held forth on numerous topics but at times bungled facts and lashed out at one reporter who quoted Biden’s comments comparing political opponents to segregationists.
“She had watched the news conference, and the look on her face told everyone in the room — from the president on down — that they had some explaining to do,” Rogers wrote in the excerpt reported by Axios. “‘Why didn’t anyone stop that?’ she demanded.”
According to Rogers’ account, her reaction cowered even her husband into silence.
“Everyone stayed silent, looking at one another, and then at her, and back to one another. That included the most powerful man in the world. Her husband essentially played along, not offering an answer, even though aides had slipped him a card suggesting he end the press conference,” Rogers wrote.
Rogers added in her own report for the New York Times that officials “later apologized to her, according to an account of the episode shared by a person in the room.”
The book portrays Mrs. Biden as her husband’s “fiercest protector,” suggesting she wants to help shield him from difficult situations. It added that she knows “how much the job is draining him” as he brings briefing books back to the residence every evening.
The reports on the book comes on the heels of the most difficult public moment yet for a White House that’s been on the defensive about the president’s advanced age. Biden gave a rare nationally televised primetime speech and press conference Thursday night in response to alleged significant memory lapses during his interview for a special counsel report about his handling of classified documents.
Special counsel Robert Hur described Biden in the report as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Hur, throughout the more than 300-page report, said “it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him” of a serious felony “that requires a mental state of willfulness,” and said he would be “well into his eighties.”
The report didn’t recommend charges for mishandling classified documents, and Biden’s supporters have contrasted his situation and cooperation in the case with the criminal charges former President Trump faces in his own classified documents case.
A defiant Biden said Thursday his memory was “fine,” snapped that a question about his son Beau’s death was none of anyone’s “damn business,” and said he was the most qualified person for the presidency.
At one point, Biden took a shot at Fox News reporter Peter Doocy for quoting from the report and asking if he could continue to serve.
“How bad is your memory? And can you continue as president?” Doocy asked.
“My memory is so bad I let you speak,” Biden replied.
Biden has been historically reticent to do one-on-one interviews during his presidency, and he also made headlines by not doing the traditional Super Bowl Sunday network interview for the second straight year.
“It’s a chance to have an interview before a massive audience, it’s not likely to be the toughest interview in the world. Why not do it? Why not take the opportunity to talk to a really large section of the country?” one former White House correspondent told Fox News Digital.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.