US President Joe Biden has been busted calling a reporter a 'stupid son of a bitch' in an embarrassing hot mic gaffe – the second in less than a week.
The heated words were muttered under his breath, but picked up by his microphone and caught on camera after a photo opportunity at the White House.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy had asked the president: “Do you think inflation is a political liability in the midterms?”
“It’s a great asset – more inflation,” Biden said sarcastically.
“What a stupid son of a bitch.”
Doocy later laughed off the incident on air with his Fox News colleagues and said he hadn’t heard the president’s response at the time due to the noise in the room.
“Somebody came up to me in the briefing room a few minutes later and said, ‘Did you hear what the president said?’
“And I said, ‘No, what?’ They said, ‘he called you a stupid S.O.B’, and I said, ‘Did he say (the letters) S.O.B?’ The person said, 'No.'”
After the incident made global headlines, Biden called Doocy on his mobile phone to "clear the air" but stopped short of an apology.
Doocy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the president said his remarks were "nothing personal".
“I appreciated it. We had a nice call,” Doocy said.
“I don’t need anybody to apologize to me. He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking.”
Biden calls another reporter's question 'stupid'
Several days earlier, Biden was heard slamming another Fox News reporter’s question.
On Thursday afternoon (local time), journalist Jacqui Heinrich put a question to Biden as the media were leaving the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
“Why are you waiting on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to make the first move, sir?” she asked.
Biden laughed before saying: "What a stupid question."
Peter Doocy is a total class act.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 24, 2022
Senators and former White House staffers were quick to defend Heinrich, including Brett Bruen who served under President Barack Obama.
“It isn’t a stupid question,” he tweeted.
“It’s a really important one. We continue to allow Putin to set the terms, timeline, & trajectory of this crisis. It’s time we stop being so reactive & start creating some of our own conditions.”’
Senator Marsha Blackburn claimed Biden’s response was “sexist” and demanded the president apologise.
“This is extremely sexist and uncalled for. @JacquiHeinrich is a well-prepared, smart reporter, and Biden should apologize immediately,” she tweeted.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.