White House staff have made a habit of clarifying or outright rolling back President Joe Biden’s statements, leaving many critics questioning who is really in charge of the administration.
Few events have illustrated the White House’s propensity to edit the president’s comments than Biden’s performance at CNN’s town hall on Thursday. There, the president vowed that the U.S. had a “commitment” to defend Taiwan from Chinese aggression, and said he was considering a mobilization of the National Guard to alleviate supply chain chaos across the country. White House press secretary Jen Psaki nullified those statements the following day.
“There has been no shift,” Psaki said Friday of U.S. relations with Taiwan. “The president was not announcing a change in our policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy. There is no change in our policy. Our defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act.”
Psaki brushed away Biden’s comments on the National Guard in a similar fashion.
“Any President has the ability to use the National Guard from the federal level,” she said in a response to questions. “Requesting the use of the National Guard at the state level, which is often how it’s done, is under the purview of governors. And we’re not actively asking them to do that, and we’re not actively pursuing the use of the National Guard on a federal level.”