President Joe Biden walked away from reporters Thursday after he tried to take questions but became visibly overwhelmed.
Biden was providing an update on the recent action taken by the U.S. government to shoot down several objects that were flying over the continental United States just days after a Chinese surveillance balloon was spotted over Montana and other states. Biden has received criticism for his handling of the situation, with some saying he waited too long to down the initial balloon.
Biden doubled down on his defense, saying that he “gave the order to shoot it down as soon as it would be safe to do so.”
“It was the size of multiple school busses and it posed a risk to people on the ground … Instead we tracked it closely, we analyzed its capabilities and we learned more about how it operates,” Biden said. “And because we knew its path, we were able to protect sensitive sites against collection. We waited until it was safely over water which would not only protect civilians but also enable us to recover substantial components for further analytics.”
“We shot it down sending a clear message, a clear message — the violation of our sovereignty is unacceptable. We’ll act to protect our country and we did,” Biden added. (RELATED: ‘Is He Embarrassed?’: Reporter Presses Jean-Pierre On Biden’s Handling Of Chinese Spy Balloon, UFO’s)
Reporters then tried to ask Biden questions, with Biden initially appearing willing to answer some, looking around the room as reporters shouted over one another.
“Sir, there’s been criticism that this was, criticism that this was,” one reporter was heard shouting while another was heard asking whether Biden was “compromised by your family’s business relationships.”
“Give me a break man,” Biden said.
“There’s been criticism that this was an overreaction done because of political pressure,” a reporter was heard asking again.
“You can come to my office and ask the question, we have more polite people,” Biden said before turning away from the podium and leaving despite hoards of reporters shouting questions.