GOP Senator Blasts Blinken: ‘We Need To Know Who’s In Charge,’ Calls Administration A ‘Puppeteer Act’

Secretary Of State Blinken Testifies Before Senate On Afghanistan Withdrawal Senator Jim Risch, a Republican from Idaho and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.

On Tuesday, Republican Senator James Risch of Idaho asserted that somebody other than President Joe Biden is “calling the shots” at the White House. 

As reported by Fox News, “Risch made the comments during Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.”The senator also said the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan was a “dismal failure.”

Risch referred to a situation from the day prior when the White House appeared to cut off the feed of Biden at an event once the president started asking questions. 

As reported by Fox News, “During Monday’s visit to Boise, Idaho, Biden received a briefing about the ongoing wildfires that have plagued several states out west. While Biden spoke for much of the briefing, at one point he said he wanted to hear more from George Geissler of the National Association of State Foresters.”

“Can I ask you a question?” Biden asked. 

“Of course,” Geissler replied. 

“One of the things that I’ve been working on with some others is —” Biden said before the feed was cut and replaced with a full-screen graphic that said, “Thank You For Joining.”

Risch seemed to address the previous circumstance in his remarks. 

”One of the things we need to get to the bottom to is who is responsible for this? Who made the decisions?” Risch said. “[Biden] can’t even speak without someone in the White House censoring it or signing off on it.”

During Tuesday’s hearing, Risch said, “This is a puppeteer act, if you would, and we need to know who’s in charge and who is making the decisions.”

“There is not enough lipstick in the world to put on this pig to make it look any differently than what it actually is,” he said later on, in a reference to the catastrophic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. “The American people want to know who is responsible for this?” 

“Ultimately, the president makes the decisions,” Blinken responded. “As in every case, ultimately decisions that can only be decided by the president are decided by the president.” 

Risch pushed back, discussing the event Monday when Biden’s feed was turned off. 

“Somebody in the White House has authority to press the button and stop the president, cut off the president’s speaking ability and sound. Who is that person?” Risch asked.

“There is no such person,” Blinken answered, saying that the president “speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself. No one else does.”

As Fox News previously pointed out, this isn’t the first situation where the White House has cut Biden’s feed. The outlet noted, “Last month, the president’s audio feed was cut as he was about to respond to a reporter’s question on his administration’s military withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan.” 

The White House also cut the feed of a virtual event in March after Biden said, “I’m happy to take questions if that’s what I’m supposed to do …” 

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