Biden Holds Joint Press Conference With Kenyan President Ruto

May 23, 2024

President Biden fell apart at a joint press conference with Kenyan President William Ruto, accusing reporters of not sticking to agreed-upon rules. The incident occurred when Michael Wilner, the chief Washington correspondent for the McClatchy newspaper chain, attempted to ask two questions he seemingly had been selected to ask.

During the 32-minute event, Biden, who is 81 years old, displayed signs of confusion and irritation. At one point, he mistakenly referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as “President Kamala Harris,” a mistake he has made several times before.

The press conference followed a “2:2” format, allowing two U.S. journalists and two Kenyan journalists to ask questions. Wilner started by asking about U.S.-supported peacekeeping efforts in Haiti, where Kenya is contributing troops. However, when Wilner tried to ask a second question about a pending arrest warrant application against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Biden didn’t want to answer it.

“No, one!” Biden said, indicating that only one question was allowed. Wilner proceeded with his question about Haiti, to which Biden read a scripted response. When Wilner later defied the restriction and asked his second question about Israel, Biden expressed his displeasure, stating, “You guys never keep the deal — but that’s OK.”

Biden reiterated the U.S. position on the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying, “We don’t recognize the jurisdiction, ICC, the way it’s been exercised. And it’s that simple. We don’t think there’s an equivalence between what Israel did and what Hamas did.”

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