President Biden’s Exclusive ABC Interview: Length Controversy and Defiant Stance, US

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Updated: 4:47 PM, Thu July 04, 2024

President Joe Biden’s anticipated interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, which was initially described as being ‘extended,’ could be just 15 minutes long, a new report says. The conversation will be the president’s first interview since his disastrous debate performance against Republican nominee Donald Trump last week. A new video has leaked showing the ex-president mocking Biden as an ‘old fool.’

The news that Biden’s interview with the former Clinton staffer will likely last for a quarter of an hour was first reported by The Daily Beast. In the same report, a Biden spokesperson described the allegation as ‘false’ and insisted it will be longer. On Wednesday, Biden, 81, appeared unexpectedly on a Zoom call with campaign staffers in a defiant mood.

‘Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can — as simply and straightforward as I can: I am running … no one’s pushing me out. I’m not leaving. I’m in this race to the end and we’re going to win,’ he said. The first sit down interview featuring President Joe Biden will air on Friday evening as part of an hour-long ABC special.

ABC previously confirmed that the first clips of the interview will air on Friday’s World News Tonight at 6pm Eastern time and then in full in an hour-long special later that evening at 8pm. It will air again on Sunday as part of This Week.

Stephanopoulos works as Good Morning America and This Week host. He joined ABC News in 1997 after working for the Clinton administration in Washington. In those announcements, ABC never commented on the length of the interview but if the network special is one-hour long, it’s unclear how the network could fill that with a 15 minute-long question and answer session.

What is clear is that the interview is scheduled to take place during the president’s campaign appearances in Wisconsin. The Daily Beast reports that another source said that the interview could be around 20 minutes. The website adds, citing ABC executives, that there is a hope that Biden’s long-winded nature will lengthen the piece.

There has been private discussion among Biden’s campaign about what it can do to counteract last Thursday’s debate, where the raspy-voiced president gave some convoluted and incomplete answers. Biden’s lack of public visibility in situations that aren’t tightly controlled has been evident throughout his presidency.

The 36 news conferences he had given through June 30 were fewer than any president in the same time frame since Ronald Reagan, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project. Biden gave a total of 128 interviews, compared to Donald Trump’s 369 at the same stage of his presidency and 497 by Biden’s former boss, she said.

During Wednesday’s Zoom call, Vice President Kamala Harris also appeared in order to rally the troops. ‘We will not back down. We will follow our president’s lead. We will fight, and we will win.’ The call concluded with Biden saying: ‘There is no one I’d rather be in this battle with than all of you. So let’s link arms. Let’s get this done. You, me, the vice president. Together.’

In his private conversations, Biden was focused on efforts to course-correct from his rocky debate and on the threat that, in his view, former President Donald Trump poses to the country, as he scoured for feedback on what went wrong last Thursday in Atlanta and took responsibility for his performance. ‘We had a direct, open, clear-eyed conversation about the debate, his thoughts on what happened and why it wasn’t his best evening or best debate,’ Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who spoke with Biden on Tuesday, said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Vice President Kamala Harris told campaign staffers on Wednesday that she is standing behind Biden. ‘He wanted advice. He was asking earnestly for input and comment on what he should do to restore confidence and support, and what’s the best path forward.’ Coons, the president’s closest ally on Capitol Hill, said Biden clearly understood the urgency, the difficulty and the importance of the election, as the senator advised that the president do more unscripted, open-ended events to restore confidence in his candidacy.

Biden met for more than an hour at the White House on Wednesday night, in person and virtually, with more than 20 Democratic governors who afterward described the conversation as ‘candid’ but said they were standing behind Biden, despite being concerned about a Trump victory in November. ‘The president is our nominee. The president is our party leader,’ said Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland. He added that, in the meeting, Biden ‘was very clear that he’s in this to win.’

Despite such reassuring sentiments, a major Democratic donor, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, also called on the president to exit the race, saying, ‘Biden needs to step aside to allow a vigorous Democratic leader to beat Trump and keep us safe and prosperous.’

The statement was first reported by The New York Times.

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Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson, a seasoned journalist and USA news expert, leads The Reportify's coverage of American current affairs. With unwavering commitment, he delivers up-to-the-minute, credible information, ensuring readers stay informed about the latest events shaping the nation. Michael's keen research skills and ability to craft compelling narratives provide deep insights into the ever-evolving landscape of USA news. He can be reached at michael@thereportify.com for any inquiries or further information.

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