President Joe Biden held what looked like a White House meeting with business leaders and members of his cabinet Wednesday, but viewers of the televised portion noticed something odd about the setting.
Critics are calling this the “Truman Show presidency.”
Biden delivered public remarks and hosted the meeting about raising the debt limit from a flag-flanked wooden desk with a window view of flowers in bloom in the White House Rose Garden.
Biden pretending to govern from a fake White House
Is perfection https://t.co/BE0SzoEgYc
— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) October 6, 2021
When you're running the country from a movie set, but don't hire people with enough production talent to make the propaganda believable. pic.twitter.com/NNmdEWouGI
— Aldous Huxley's Ghost™ (@AF632) October 6, 2021
When the camera zoomed out, however, it became clear that Biden and his interlocutors were actually on a presidential-themed set — the desk was not Resolute and the view was a digital projection.
- A White House transcript subsequently confirmed the location as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across the street from the White House, where the set was recently constructed for streaming events.
- Biden’s Twitter account also shared a photo that made it clear the meeting took place on the set.
Conservative commentators derided the president for governing from a “fake White House.”
Some expressed confusion.
Why the hell does the White House need a set of the White House across the street from the actual White House?
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) October 7, 2021
- “Fake President” trended on Twitter.
- Stephen Miller, a senior adviser in former President Donald Trump’s White House, alleged in a tweet that Biden “uses this bizarre virtual set for televised meetings” because it makes it easier for him to discretely read from a teleprompter.
- Charlie Sterling, Breitbart News’ White House correspondent, said the White House had not responded to his requests for comment.
The presidential set first drew attention last week, when Biden received his COVID-19 booster shot there, and the Washington Post inaccurately reported he was at the White House.
It was at the auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive building ginned up to look like the White House.@washingtonpost you’re printing literal fake news.
This is exactly why these mock-ups are dangerous. pic.twitter.com/ZIwNq2Ijx0
— Leslie McAdoo Gordon (@McAdooGordon) October 6, 2021