Will a Hollywood star now bring down the president?


Lerato Khumalo

Since the TV appearance, Biden and his entourage have been trying hard to stifle the debate among Democrats about his suitability for the election battle against Trump and a second term before it escalates into open rebellion. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that she believes Democrats are now “absolutely” united behind Biden.

After a break, it is session week again in the US Congress. This means that the Democratic parliamentarians are all gathered in the US capital. Regular parliamentary group meetings in Congress usually turn into crisis meetings about Biden’s political future. Observers had expected that the dam could now quickly break – that is, that a critical mass of representatives and senators would form an alliance and openly oppose Biden. That has not happened so far.

And the Republicans are also trying to exert pressure. The Republican-led Oversight Committee in the House of Representatives on Wednesday wrote to three high-ranking White House employees asking them to be available for statements behind closed doors later this month.

The committee’s punitive requests – so-called “subpoenas” – were sent to Biden’s deputy chief of staff Annie Tomasini, adviser Ashley Williams and an adviser to First Lady Jill Biden, Anthony Bernal, Axios reported.

The committee, led by James Comer, said that according to a former presidential aide, the three had created “a protective bubble” around the president. Comer wrote that the recipients of the letters were some of many White House staffers “who have taken it upon themselves to lead the country while the president cannot.” A Biden spokesman said the letters were a “baseless political stunt” by Comer to attract media attention.

Meanwhile, former President Trump launched a massive attack on Biden during a campaign rally in the state of Florida. The 78-year-old called the president “corrupt, incompetent and cognitively impaired.” Trump also denounced a supposed “sinister conspiracy” to deceive the US public about “the cognitive abilities of the man in the Oval Office.”