The hot seat took center stage as Congress put the military’s top brass there just after Jake Tapper and Chris Wallace put DHS Secretary Mayorkas in it — and still, the only one not taking questions is President Biden.
The 24-hour news cycle — coupled with thousands of media outlets and a gradual return from pandemic boredom to somewhat normal life — makes it all but impossible for anyone to truly stay abreast of all the news.
So here it is, the week that was:
- President Joe Biden weighed in on photos of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents on horseback attempting to drive back Haitian migrants who were on foot, claiming that agents had “strapped” migrants and promising that they would “pay.”
- Meanwhile, photographer Paul Ratje — who captured the viral image — said that he had not seen any CBP agent whipping migrants. “The photographer who took the now infamous photos of mounted Border Patrol agents in Del Rio says he and his colleagues never saw agents whipping anyone and the photos are being misconstrued. However, the false narrative is off and running,” Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted.
- Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson rebuffed calls from the Anti-Defamation League demanding that he be fired. “F**k them,” he told journalist Megyn Kelly.
- CNN anchor Jake Tapper challenged DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas directly, asking him how there could be an “independent investigation” into CBP’s horse patrol if Biden and others had already effectively declared them guilty.
- ABC’s George Stephanopoulos dumped cold water on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that she had 95% of her caucus rallied to support both the infrastructure package and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. “You said you have support of 95% of Democrats. The problem is you need 98% or 99% to pass the bills,” he said.
- Fresh off his intense conversation with Tapper on the CBP investigation, Mayorkas sat down with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. Wallace confronted the DHS Secretary with the number of migrants who were flooding to the border, asking, “My question is why did you allow them in the country in the first place? Why didn’t you build, forgive me, a wall or a fence to stop them from walking – the flood of people coming across the dam, it looks like a highway that allows them to cross the Rio Grande.”
- Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy defended press secretary Jen Psaki after “Fox & Friends” weekend host Will Cain referred to her as “condescending.” “It was an incredibly condescending and defensive answer she gave you,” Cain said, and Doocy pushed back. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but, it’s just, we’re not getting information,” Doocy replied.
- Biden claimed, without presenting any medical evidence, that 97-98% of Americans needed to be vaccinated before the country could “get back to normal.”
- Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar referred to fellow Democrats West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema as “Republicans” within her own party over their opposition to the reconciliation bill. “We have about twelve members in the House, in the Senate, in the Democratic Caucus who are, you know, an obstacle to getting this done,” she told CNN’s Don Lemon.
- CentCom commander General Kenneth McKenzie undercut Biden’s claims about the Afghanistan withdrawal during his testimony on Capitol Hill — namely his assertion that none of the top generals had advised him to leave a smaller number of troops on the ground.
- “The View” host Whoopi Goldberg took aim at the far left, arguing that by marching into Congress and issuing demands they had effectively sabotaged the Democratic Party’s agenda. “We made ourselves the boogeyman – we’ve done this — this particular wound is something we put on ourselves,” she said.
- Fox News host Jesse Watters referred to Biden as “a stone-cold liar,” arguing that the president and members of his administration had been less than truthful about a number of issues, ranging from the situation a the U.S.-Mexico border to the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
- Manchin stood firm against the reconciliation package’s $3.5 trillion price tag, calling it “the definition of fiscal insanity.” He also called for the reinstatement of the Hyde Amendment. “I cannot—and will not—support trillions in spending or an all or nothing approach that ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces,” he said.
- And to round out the week, the crowd booed President Biden at the Congressional baseball game. And to add insult to injury, Republicans clinched the win just moments after Biden left.