WH Insiders Reportedly Aren't Sure How Involved Joe Biden Is in Decision-Making

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The hand-wringing from Democrats over Joe Biden’s fragile mental state and the impact it could have on the presidential contest is reaching a fever pitch. As the chorus of “should he stay or should he go” grows ever louder, we’re hearing more alarming stories about what may be going on behind the scenes at the West Wing.


One of the latest reports came out on Friday over at Semafor. Co-founder Ben Smith writes about a conversation he had on July 4 with a “government official with regular access to the West Wing, who said they had reached a breaking point and wanted to sound the alarm.” Smith explains that this person wanted the conversation to be as anonymous as possible with nothing to identify who he or she is.

“Their credibility basically depends on my vouching that they’re a serious person, which I can do — though I should also say this person has nothing to say about the president’s physical condition and was limited to their own experience outside Biden’s tight inner circle,” Smith insists.

The gist of the conversation was that even insiders like Smith’s acquaintance can’t break through the Biden inner circle enough to know what decisions the president is in on. The White House cabal is that tight.

“It’s unclear even to some inside the West Wing policy process which policy issues reach the president, and how,” Smith writes. “Major decisions go into an opaque circle that includes White House chief of staff, Jeff Zients (who talks to the president regularly) and return concluded.”

While Smith’s source says he or she is “super proud of the policies,” the idea that these decisions could be happening without the president in the loop alarms him or her.


If that’s not alarming enough, there’s one area of policy that reportedly does involve the president, which should scare the living daylights out of us. Smith relates that “The big exception to this pattern, they said, is foreign policy.”

Somehow, it makes total sense that the administration's foreign policy decisions have Biden's fingerprints all over them. Don't forget that former defense secretary Robert Gates said that Biden "has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades," and his track record as president bears that out.

Recommended: Behold the Left's Post-Debate Circular Firing Squad

“This pattern had already been a topic of discussion and curiosity among the high-powered aides who work in and around the White House, Smith adds. “The rituals of paperflow are technical, but they say they’re surprised by the lack of briefings to the president, and of readouts from consultations with the president and worry about the possibility of decisions ‘being made without him.’”

Naturally, the administration is blowing the same smoke it has for months: that the president is in charge and takes part in every decision that arrives on his desk.

Smith writes:

Biden “is in the middle of everything. He signs off on everything,” said Bruce Reed, the deputy chief of staff who oversees policy. “Many of us have sat with him as he’s made hundreds of decisions.”

“Nobody has the authority to freelance. Not Jeff, not Ron, not anybody,” Reed told me.

Other top aides echoed Reed’s account, and further stressed that the president’s age has had no effect at all on his involvement in these issues.

Top White House economist Jared Bernstein said Biden “makes decisions on everything from student debt relief to 301 tariffs to housing policy” and Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi said Biden is “sweating every relevant detail.”

Spokesman Andrew Bates said in an email: “This single source’s claim is directly contradicted by a large body of (even critical) reporting about the policy process, which has continually stressed President Biden’s direct involvement in every major decision.”


It’s naïve to believe that any president stays involved in the minutiae of every decision; it takes an equal level of gullibility to believe the White House spin. Smith admits, “I’m skeptical, as are many journalists, of aides’ insistence that his age has changed nothing about his decision-making process.”

At the same time, it might be easy to dismiss Smith’s source’s worry as paranoia. The truth must be somewhere in the middle, even if it’s far closer to what the source describes than what the administration is trying to convince us all of.

No matter Biden’s direct involvement in policy, it’s scary what this administration is doing. We need to get these people out of office as soon as we can.

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