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President Joe Biden was heard calling a Fox News reporter a “stupid son of a b----” on a hot mic after the journalist asked him a question about the US’s spiralling inflation.
Peter Doocy, the right-wing television network’s White House correspondent, asked Mr Biden: "Do you think inflation is a political liability in the midterms?" as he was ushered out of a press conference on Monday with other members of the media.
Mr Biden’s response was picked up by a microphone: "It's a great asset - more inflation. What a stupid son of a b----," the US President said.
Mr Doocy, the 34-year-old son of “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy, has become known for his antagonist relationship with Mr Biden and White House press secretaries, asking sharp and often critical questions in the briefing room.
The President has grown increasingly frustrated when facing tough questions publicly in recent months.
At the end of a Biden photo op, when reporters shouted Q's hoping he'd respond, Fox's Peter Doocy asked, 'Do you think inflation is a political liability in the midterms?' Biden deadpanned: 'It's a great asset—more inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.' pic.twitter.com/Tt4ZVz5Ynj
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 24, 2022
It is the second time in a week that Mr Biden, 79, was heard criticising a question posed to him by a Fox News reporter. At the conclusion of a White House press conference on Thursday, Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich fired off a question about his response to the threat posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.
“Why are you waiting on Putin to make the first move, sir?” Mr Heinrich asked. “What a stupid question,” Mr Biden said as the reporters were led from the room.
It is also not the first time Mr Doocy has earned the ire of the White House. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki just hours earlier on Monday said in response to another of his questions about the economy, "unlike his predecessor, the president does not look at the stock market as a means by which to judge the economy.”
In an exchange about the coronavirus on January 25 of last year, Mr Biden acknowledged the reporter’s direct style. After a question about whether the president could live up to his campaign promises that he would tackle the pandemic in short order, Mr Biden said, “I know he always asks me tough questions, and he always has an edge to them, but I like him anyway," before saying he was not overselling his ability to tackle Covid.
As Mr Biden was walking away, after signing executive orders aimed at addressing racial inequity, Mr Doocy shouted out, "Mr President, what did you talk to Vladimir Putin about?" following news that the leaders had a recent phone call. Mr Biden responded, “You. He sent his best.”
Then in March of last year, Mr Doocy complained that he was not called upon during one of Mr Biden’s early press conferences.
A chyron on Fox News later that evening read: “Biden snubs Fox News during first news conf.”
In a recent interview, Ms Psaki said of fielding questions from Mr Doocy: "People don't always see this, but outside the briefing room, it is entirely professional and entirely, hopefully, responsive.
She acknowledged that there is a made-for-TV aspect to some of her interactions with reporters when she is behind the podium.
"There's a performative component from the TV side of the briefing room," she told Mediate.
Speaking in a later interview on Fox, Mr Doocy shrugged off Mr Biden's comment.
"Yeah nobody has fact-checked him yet and said it's not true," he said of the insult, laughing.