Biden staff ‘scared s—less’ of him, senior admin official says; WH hits back

Some of President Biden’s top officials are “scared s—less” of displeasing him in daily briefings, according to a new report.

The president’s inner circle has become tighter and tighter as he has become more difficult to deal with in day-to-day business, according to a Tuesday report from Politico.

“It’s like, ‘You can’t include that, that will set him off,’ or ‘Put that in, he likes that,’” a senior administration official told Politico on background. 

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The quote continued, “It’s a Rorschach test, not a briefing. Because he is not a pleasant person to be around when he’s being briefed. It’s very difficult, and people are scared [s—less] of him.”

The official told Politico that Biden is unwilling to take advice from outside his small inner circle, becoming increasingly isolated from wider public opinion and input.

“He doesn’t take advice from anyone other than those few top aides, and it becomes a perfect storm because he just gets more and more isolated from their efforts to control it,” the official reportedly told Politico.

White House Senior Deputy Press Secretary Andre Bates pushed back on the Politico report’s claim that staff are afraid of the president — telling Fox News Digital, “That’s simply not who [Biden] is.”

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Politico also reported that Biden’s family members cast blame widely on Biden staffers, complaining that they did not adequately prepare the president to go on the attack more, to focus more on laying out his vision for the next four years rather than getting bogged down in defending his record, and that they allowed him to become overworked without enough rest beforehand. 

The family’s criticism was hurled specifically toward Anita Dunn, the senior adviser who frequently has the president’s ear; her husband, Bob Bauer, the president’s attorney who played Donald Trump in rehearsals at Camp David; and Ron Klain, the former chief of staff who ran point on the debate prep and previous cycles’ sessions, Politico reported, citing three people briefed on the family conversations but not directly involved.

“The number of people who have access to the president has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller,” an anonymous Democratic strategist in a battleground state reportedly complained to Politico, according to their Tuesday report. “They’ve been digging deeper into the bunker for months now.”

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Bates denied this characterization as well, claiming the president seeks input from a “wide range of individuals inside and outside the administration.”

“These claims are unfair distortions of processes that exist in every administration,” Bates told Fox News Digital. “In any presidency, there are individuals who would prefer to spend more time with the President and senior officials.”

He added, “[Biden] is proud to have hired the most diverse White House team ever – and is achieving historic results for the American people because of his determination, values, and experience.”

Biden and his campaign officials have denied any implication that the president is planning to step aside in his bid for re-election.

Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.