Reporters Have Questions About Maui Wildfires — Biden Smiles, Waves, And Skips Town
US President Joe Biden boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. Biden, speaking in Wisconsin today, is leading an administration-wide effort to mark the one-year anniversary of the Democrats landmark climate and drug pricing legislation whose implementation officials are counting on to fuel the presidents reelection bid. Photographer: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reporters attempted to get some straight answers out of President Joe Biden on Tuesday — particularly regarding the devastating Maui wildfires and the increasing death toll — but were once again met with little more than a clear view of Biden’s back.

Biden smiled and waved at reporters — who have been attempting to get answers from the White House about the response in Maui for days with little success — and then he turned on his heel and boarded Marine One.


“The way Biden is acting makes me think Hunter took a secret Cessna to Hawaii, lit a match in a windstorm, and flew away,” Kate Hyde suggested via a post on X.

The president is reportedly headed first to Wisconsin for remarks about the economy, after which he is expected to visit Camp David for a summit with leaders from Japan and South Korea before heading to Lake Tahoe on Friday — where no official events have yet been announced — and the White House has not confirmed whether the mystery trip will be for business or pleasure.

Indeed, Biden appears to have been avoiding almost all contact with the press since the fires began. When he returned to the White House on Monday after a weekend at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, staffers kept members of the press corps cordoned off 100 yards away from where Biden would be walking, ensuring that he couldn’t hear their shouted questions as he disembarked Marine One and walked across the lawn to the Oval Office.


Biden sparked ire from a number of critics when reporters were able to catch up with him over the weekend and ask a few questions about the tragic situation on Maui.


“Mr. President, any comment on the rising death toll in Maui?” one reported shouted and Biden approached a vehicle. The president paused briefly before responding, “No. No comment.”


“Second ‘no comment’ from Biden in as many days on a horrific disaster where the death toll will likely go well into the hundreds. Go ahead, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC… Avoid this altogether or avoid anything resembling harsh criticism of such a brazen disregard for the lives of American citizens by an American president,” The Messenger columnist and frequent Fox News contributor Joe Concha remarked.

While Biden appears to be avoiding questions about Maui, it is possible that the White House is preventing him from answering questions for reasons that hit closer to home.

Following the news that Attorney General Merrick Garland had appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss to act as special counsel in the case concerning Hunter Biden, the president’s 2024 campaign manager backed out of a scheduled MSNBC appearance — ostensibly to avoid taking any questions about the president’s son. The White House’s apparently ramped-up efforts to shield Biden from direct questions may be for that reason as well.

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