“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said at the time, sparking a tidal wave of political backlash. The Washington Post reported at the time that the president himself helped aides quickly put together a statement clarifying Biden’s remarks, a point which Bates emphasized in a Tuesday tweet.

But NBC’s report suggests that Biden was furious at being made to look weak, urging his staff to remember that he is the president and that they are making him look unreliable.