Republican senator James Risch of Idaho engaged in a bizarre exchange with secretary of state Anthony Blinken about whether someone in the Biden administration has a button to cut the president’s mic when he’s speaking.
Mr Risch, who is the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said somebody in the White House has the authority to press a button and cut off the audio from the president’s microphone.
Mr Blinken, who was testifying about the United States’ exit from Afghanistan, seemed to laugh when hearing the question.
“I think anyone who knows the president, including members of this committee, knows that he speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself, no one else does,” he said. Mr. Blinken said.
Mr Risch responded by saying he saw it happen on Monday and that it has happened numerous times before, which has even ignited media reports.
“It’s been widely reported that somebody has the ability to push the button and cut off his sound stop him from speaking,” he said. “Who is that person?”
The Republican added that it happened as recently as Monday when Mr Biden spoke at the Interagency Fire Center in Mr Risch’s state of Idaho.
“Are you telling this committee that this does not happen? That there’s no one in the White House that pushes a button and cuts him off in mid-sentence,” he asked.
Mr Blinken repeated what he said during his testimony.
“Senator, I really don’t know what you’re referring to,” Mr Blinken said.
The conspiracy reached the news just hours before when Biden appeared to be cut off during a briefing on wildfires.
On a visit to Boise, Mr Biden said he wanted to hear more from George Geissler of the National Association of State Foresters.
“Can I ask you a question?” Mr Biden asked.
“Of course,” Mr Geissler answered.
“One of the things that I have been working on with some others is…” the president was heard saying, before the telecast was cut off mid-sentence.
A clip shared by the research arm of the Republican National Committee on Twitter showed the live-stream was ended abruptly with a “Thank you for joining” message.
It is not the first time the White House has been accused of editing the President mid-speech.
A report by Politico earlier this month quoted White House officials and claimed that “when Mr Biden gives public remarks, some staffers will either mute him or turn off his remarks.”
Staff are allegedly nervous of the President’s off-the-cuff remarks.
“I know people who habitually don’t watch it live for that reason,” one official told the website.