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Aides To Biden Say He’s ‘Terrified’ About Trump’s Rising Prospects Ahead of 2024

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Aides to President Joe Biden are increasingly worried that he will face off against a reinvigorated Donald Trump next year as the former president continues rising in the polls despite his myriad of indictments.

Fox News reported on Friday, in fact, that Biden’s aides are “terrified” at the prospect of a rematch with Trump as polls show both candidates neck-and-neck.

As reported by CNN on Thursday, polls indicating a lack of a distinct advantage for either candidate in a theoretical rematch have caused “existential stress” among aides. Meanwhile, members of the media continue to scrutinize the prospect of whether Biden should even consider running for re-election.

“The former president may seem like the easier Republican candidate to beat, as a known quantity who is toxic to many voters, but they’re terrified that if he is the nominee, any fumbles by the campaign or the president himself would enable the return of a candidate they see as a singular threat to American democracy,” CNN’s report read.

The rising angst within Biden’s circle comes amid a column published this week by Washington Post writer David Ignatius calling on the president and Vice President Kamala Harris not to run for reelection.

“I don’t think Biden and Vice President Harris should run for re-election,” Ignatius wrote. “It’s painful to say that, given my admiration for much of what they have accomplished. But if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement — which was stopping Donald Trump.”

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Biden’s aides have been blaming the media for his troubles, according to CNN, claiming news outlets are validating concerns about Biden’s age and Hunter Biden’s increasingly severe legal problems.

In addition, CNN noted that big-name Democrat donors have yet to contribute to Biden’s reelection.

“But to the exasperation of several top Biden aides who spoke to CNN, some of the most notable names and biggest checkbooks remain missing,” the outlet reported.

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Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, sent a memo to major news outlets this week asking that they “ramp up their scrutiny” of House Republicans “for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies,” the New York Post reported.

The memo, sent to major outlets including CNN, the New York Times, and Fox News, comes after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced an impeachment inquiry had begun into Biden after several committees claimed to have found incriminating evidence regarding alleged bribes and suspected enrichment from selling the “Biden brand.”

“Through our investigations, we have found that President Biden did lie to the American people about his own knowledge of his family’s foreign business dealings,” McCarthy alleged earlier this week, claiming that “these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption.”

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Sams targeted select media outlets on Tuesday but then sent the memo to the White House press list the following day. But the instructions rankled several members of the media who complained that the administration was attempting to dictate editorial direction regarding impeachment, The Post added.

“They should be playing hardball, and instead, what they’re doing is bitching about the media,” a White House reporter who regularly attends briefings told the outlet.

“I don’t think the media likes being told what to do. I think it’s going to backfire,” the reporter predicted, according to The Post. “It seems to say to me that they believe the media will just do what [the White House] tells them. It’s a terrible look for the administration.”

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The correspondent went on to say that a “hardball” approach would be the White House attempting to take the wind out of Republicans’ impeachment sails by addressing factual disputes and providing additional context.

“If you want to play hardball, trot out Hunter to say what he did or didn’t do, explain why the payments are a nothing burger,” the reporter told The Post. “Or just issue a rebuttal memo.”

“This is not OK,” journalist Matthew Keys tweeted. “The White House should not be encouraging, influencing or interfering in the editorial strategies of America’s newsrooms, including CNN and the New York Times.”

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