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Biden sees WH shake amid walkbacks, poll numbers plummet: report

The Biden White House is “adrift” and fraught with “management meltdowns,” leading the president to eye a major reshuffle of his leadership team to win back the American public — and Democratic Party leaders, according to a new report.

Biden has particularly irked at White House staffers in recent months for repeated attempts to “clarify” comments by the president about Russia and Taiwan, according to NBC News — which interviews more than 24 current and former administration officials, lawmakers, and Congressmen cited aides and other Democrats near the White House.

Biden is also reportedly angered by polls showing his approval rating falling below the lowest levels recorded by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

“I don’t know what’s required here,” James Clyburn (D-SC), the House Majority Whip whose endorsement of Biden revived his dying 2020 presidential campaign, told NBC News. “But I know the poll numbers have stayed where they are for far too long.”

A person close to the president added that Biden was simply “frustrated.” If it’s not one, it’s the other.”

President Joe Biden
Multiple polls have shown that Biden’s approval ratings have fallen below those of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
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The malaise has fueled speculation about changes at the top of the West Wing hierarchy. Though NBC reported that no steps are likely to be taken immediately, multiple sources told the outlet that White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is expected to depart sometime after the November midterm elections.

Potential successors, if and when Klain leaves, include White House Counsel Anita Dunn, who would become the first woman or person of color to hold the role of chief of staff. Other contenders could include Presidential Advisor Steve Ricchetti and Domestic Policy Chief Susan Rice.

There is perhaps no greater indication of the current administration’s dysfunction than the furor after White House staffers rolled back harsh comments Biden made about Russian President Vladimir Putin during a trip to Eastern Europe.

“For God’s sake, that name can’t stay in power,” Biden said during a March 26 address in Warsaw.

Shortly after Biden made the comment, an unnamed White House official rushed a statement to reporters, saying, “The President believed that Putin should not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He wasn’t talking about Putin’s power in Russia or regime change.” The following day, Klain approvingly retweeted a post by CNN White House correspondent John Harwood, who said Biden’s comment showed a “significant lack of discipline.”

President Joe Biden walks the lawn of the White House
Presidential approval ratings continue to fall.
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But on March 28, Biden contradicted his subordinates, telling reporters during an unscripted Q&A at the White House, “I’m not going back.”

“I have expressed the moral outrage I felt,” the president continued, adding, “I did not express a change in policy then or now.” I have expressed the moral outrage I feel, and I make no apologies for it.” When asked for additional explanation, Biden said, “I have spoken to the Russian people. The last part of the speech was to talk to the Russian people and give them our opinion.”

NBC privately reported that Biden was “angry” that his testimony was considered unreliable, and that the president had reminded his staff that he was the one in charge.

Despite the rebuke, the issue flared up again on Biden’s recent trip to Asia, when the president said the US would help defend Taiwan if the island nation was attacked by China.

For the third time in nine months, the White House contradicted a comment by Biden on Taiwan, insisting that US policy “has not changed,” a claim Biden himself echoed.

When asked about the walkbacks, a White House official told NBC News, “We don’t say anything the President doesn’t want us to say.”

The White House doubled down on Tuesday, with Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates telling The Post: “The breathlessness of paragraphs 1 and 2 compared to the rejection relegated to chart 28 tells you what you need to know about this story .”

“And as we have said, no commentary on the President’s statements will ever be issued without his direct approval.”

Meanwhile, the president’s approval rating continues to fall as Americans grapple with a slew of problems, including decades of inflation, a looming recession and a rise in violent crime.

protest sign reads "End gun violence for our children"
Protesters advocate gun control amid a surge in shootings across the country.
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A gas station sign with prices over $8.00 per gallon.
Gas prices above the $8 mark are announced at a Chevron gas station in Los Angeles, California on May 30, 2022.
REUTERS

On Tuesday, a Rasmussen Reports poll found that just 43% of likely voters approve of Biden’s job performance, while 55% disapprove. A recent poll by Emerson put Biden’s approval rating at just 38%.

“He’s lower than Trump now, and he’s really twisted,” a person close to the White House told NBC News.

As the midterm elections approached and Republicans preferred to regain control of the House and Senate, Biden has reportedly told his aides he believes Democrats are not defending him enough on various TV shows.

A White House official denied the claims to the outlet, saying, “He’s pushing to argue harder for everything we’ve accomplished so far.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/31/biden-eyes-wh-shakeup-amid-walkbacks-plummeting-poll-numbers-report/ Biden sees WH shake amid walkbacks, poll numbers plummet: report

JACLYN DIAZ

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