One day after the President of the United States called Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a b**ch,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that President Joe Biden had contacted him to smooth things over.
Mr Biden had been caught making the caustic remark on a hot microphone late Monday after Doocy, the son of Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy, asked him if rising inflation would be a “political liability”.
The president remarked sarcastically: “It’s a great asset—more inflation. What a stupid son of a b**ch”.
Monday’s hot mic moment was not the first time a prominent politician had denigrated Doocy or one of queries. In 2017, the late Arizona senator John McCain responded to a question about whether he was blocking then-president Trump’s legislative agenda because of personal animus by asking the Fox reporter: “Why would you ask something that stupid?”
Ms Psaki addressed the exchange towards the end of her Tuesday press briefing when a reporter — not Doocy — asked about it.
“The President called him, he conveyed to him that it was ‘nothing personal, man’ and also acknowledged that all of you are going to ask him a range of questions,” Ms Psaki said. “So I think that speaks for itself”.
She then asked Doocy if she had related the substance of the conversation accurately, to which he sarcastically replied: “Can confirm [as a] person familiar”.
Doocy did not mention the incident during his own exchange with Ms Psaki on Tuesday. Instead, he asked a series of questions on immigration enforcement and Mr Biden’s past comments on tensions between the US and Russia.
Speaking on Fox’s Hannity on Monday evening, Doocy said Mr Biden had called him “within an hour” of the hot mic moment to discuss what had transpired.
“He said, ‘It’s nothing personal, pal,’” Doocy recalled. “And we went back and forth, and we were talking about just kind of moving forward, and I made sure to tell him that I’m always gonna try to ask something different than what everybody else is asking. And he said, ‘You got to.’ And that’s a quote from the president, so I’ll keep doing it.”
He added that he appreciated Mr Biden’s effort to “clear the air,” but told host Sean Hannity that he did not need an apology.
“He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking”.