Joe Biden’s White House handlers cut short media access to a video call with American military troops for Christmas after Biden’s embarrassing public “Let’s Go, Brandon” episode a day earlier.
Biden appeared with first lady Jill Biden for the Christmas call on the fake White House studio set. The media corps was allowed to watch the first couple and their new dog, Commander, make some remarks at the beginning of the call.
They were not allowed to remain when the president spoke to any troops, thus ensuring that there would be no recorded coverage of anything military members might say during the call.
The traditional Christmas call with the troops usually goes on with the press present for the entire call. President Trump would allow the media to record the whole process for over a half-hour each year. This year, the press was excused after only about five minutes.
Just the day before on Christmas Eve, Biden had an awkward exchange with a father during a phone call to children and parents waiting and watching for Santa along with NORAD.
A military father named Jared spoke with Biden after the president said with his children about Santa’s upcoming Christmas visit. Jared told the first couple, “Merry Christmas, and Let’s Go, Brandon!” at the end of his conversation.
Biden smiled and said, “Let’s Go, Brandon, I agree.” Jill sat silently staring into the camera.
That response marked the first time Biden has reacted to the viral phrase that has become a greeting and exclamation of good cheer among conservative Americans. It is still unknown whether Biden knows the phrase’s meaning or origin.
In November, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “did not focus” on the phrase. When asked about the slogan by an NBC reporter, she said that the president doesn’t spend much time thinking about it.