Trump’s lead just won’t budge: Why the debates may be Biden’s last shot

The presidential campaign is as frozen as the Arctic Circle.

Virtually nothing seems to melt the ice caps that have encased the race. 

The former president convicted of 34 felonies? Feels like it happened months ago, without exactly dooming the Trump candidacy.

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The current president’s son, also convicted of felonies? Now that’s deemed a mere distraction by those who used an impeachment inquiry to try to sink the Biden campaign.

Each attack, each smear, each controversy dominates the news and then quickly yields to the next real or perceived outrage, leaving little lasting impression on the shape of the race.

All this is bad news for Joe Biden, who has an anemic 38 percent approval rating and is on track to lose, despite the apparent closeness of the contest.

While Trump’s lead in such core battleground states as Michigan and Pennsylvania is often just 2 to 3 points, it’s been remarkably consistent (with the president having a slight edge in Wisconsin). If Scranton Joe can’t win Pennsylvania despite endless trips there, the election is over.

That’s why Biden abruptly challenged Trump to two debates, with the first one, on CNN, in less than 10 days. It’s really his last chance to bring some heat and shake up the race.

Now I could make the argument that the Trump team has lowered expectations for Biden to the point that if he avoids major gaffes and doesn’t fall off the stage, he wins. The CNN rules – two-minute answers, no notes, muting the opponent’s mike – will also favor the president.

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But debates can be overrated. Mitt Romney clobbered Barack Obama in their first debate and it didn’t matter. Hillary Clinton arguably won two or even three of her debates against Trump and it didn’t matter. 

The pressure is on Biden, who’s drilling with former top aide Ron Klain, to show that he’s aggressive and feisty as well as knowledgeable. Trump, who is doing only informal prep, will be hailed by his base no matter what he says or does.

In short, it will take something highly unusual to change many minds. Most Americans already know what they think of these guys.

The same goes for the Trump veepstakes. As Donald Trump told me, it doesn’t matter much because people vote for the top of the ticket. I think Doug Burgum has a somewhat better chance than when I first interviewed him three weeks ago, on this shorter short list that seems to include Tim Scott, Marco Rubio and J.D. Vance. 

But I can’t see that changing the race’s trajectory. What’s striking is that the anchors are now handling these as "vetting" interviews about each candidate’s record, because they believe one of them may well be moving into the vice president’s mansion.

Trump’s GOP unity day on the Hill got muddied when he criticized Milwaukee, the host city for next month’s convention. Even though Trump said he was talking mainly about crime in the city – which is actually down substantially this year – I’m not sure why he needed to go there.

The 78-year-old Trump is so anxious to depict the 81-year-old Biden as mentally unfit for the job that minor incidents are being exaggerated and distorted. There’s no question, as I said on the air, that Biden often comes across as frail and confused. 

But after a $30-million L.A. fundraiser over the weekend, Obama grabbed his arm and then kept touching his back as they exited the stage. This went viral as the former president was depicted as "leading" his onetime VP away.

Earlier, the New York Post, taking its lead from the RNC, misleadingly cropped a photo as if Biden was talking to no one at the G-7 in Italy. A wider angle showed Biden was saying a few words and giving a thumbs up to a skydiver who had landed next to the world leaders before the Italian prime minister led him back to the group. 

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Despite a couple of flashy media headlines, I did not criticize Fox’s coverage, though sometimes that comes with the job. I made a point of saying that the coverage by "Fox & Friends" was perfectly straightforward. We played a clip of Sean Hannity criticizing Biden, but there was no suggestion that he didn’t show the proper footage; he was paired with Joe Scarborough hitting Biden’s critics, as we often do to convey the range of commentary.

In my view, there’s little doubt that most of the media believe Trump will win the election, and here’s the proof.

The New York Times just ran a deep dive on how the Trump resistance is already laying the groundwork to battle and stymie him in a second term.

These groups "are drafting potential lawsuits in case he is elected in November and carries out mass deportations, as he has vowed. One group has hired a new auditor to withstand any attempt by a second Trump administration to unleash the Internal Revenue Service against them. Democratic-run state governments are even stockpiling abortion medication.

"A sprawling network of Democratic officials, progressive activists, watchdog groups and ex-Republicans has been taking extraordinary steps to prepare for a potential second Trump presidency, drawn together by the fear that Mr. Trump’s return to power would pose a grave threat not just to their agenda but to American democracy itself." 

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A newspaper simply doesn’t devote the enormous resources the Times did to this investigative piece without believing a Trump victory is at the least very likely.

Some groups are described as "wary" of discussing their plans for fear of signaling a lack of confidence in the Biden campaign, which is exactly what it signals.

And that brings us back to the CNN debate.

Biden is really running out of time to change the narrative of the race. The debate will probably be a wash, but it’s his only shot. Otherwise, the frozen campaign will wind up freezing him out.

The anti-Trump movement’s secret Zoom calls give their target ammo

At first glance, it might seem like inside baseball.

A bunch of former prosecutors and cable pundits talking to each other about how much they don’t like Donald Trump and how he’s in deep legal trouble? Doesn’t that happen every day in green rooms and the corner bar?

But this, as disclosed by Politico, is different. These are some of the most prominent commentators in the media universe, and they appear to be consulting/coordinating/conspiring about their main target.

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Even if that’s not the case, it looks awful.

It plays into the hands of conservatives who back Trump that the media are part of the resistance, determined to bring him down at all costs.

They can now say that it is a cabal, confirming all their darkest suspicions about the press determined to bring him down.

Every Friday, these media hotshots join in a secret, off-the-record Zoom call.

In a high-road description, the piece says the goal is to "intellectually stress-test the arguments facing Trump on his journey through the American legal system." But a beat later it says, "most are united by their dislike of Trump."

The origins of the group are telling, beginning during the Jan. 6 hearings, when committee staffers began briefing legal commentators on their work. I can think of classified military matters that haven’t remained secret as long.

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Who’s doing the zooming? Norman Eisen, an Obama administration official who worked with House Democrats on Trump’s first impeachment and is a CNN legal analyst, is the founder. 

He’s joined by Bill Kristol, a leader of the anti-Trump conservatives; longtime Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe; Watergate figure John Dean; and George Conway, ex-husband of Kellyanne, co-founder of the Lincoln Project and a fixture on MSNBC. 

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That’s just the beginning. There is MSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, who investigated the fruitless Russian collusion accusations against Trump as a prosecutor for Bob Mueller; why would anyone doubt his objectivity?

There are CNN legal analysts Jeffrey Toobin, Elliott Williams and Karen Agnifilo, along with L.A. Times columnist Harry Litman. And there’s Mary McCord, a former DOJ official who co-hosts an MSNBC podcast. 

Sometimes there are guests, which is also revealing. After Trump was held liable in E. Jean Carroll’s first defamation and sexual assault suit, her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, addressed the group. And, says Politico, former conservative judge J. Michael Luttig, who spearheaded a campaign to kick Trump off state ballots under the 14th Amendment, was another guest. The Supreme Court rejected the anti-democratic move.

Despite efforts to rationalize this as a meeting-of-great-minds exercise, I’m not buying it. Even Politico concedes the calls could "breed groupthink" – what a shocking thought.

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And cable news drives plenty of other coverage, particularly when certain themes are constantly pounded.

All these folks are smart enough to think for themselves. Which makes it surprising that they lack the common sense to see how troubling the Zooming looks.

Liberal pundits, urging Biden to withdraw, pushing convention scenario

A growing number of left-leaning pundits are hopping off the Biden train and they’re trying to come up with a plan to enable the president to jump off as well.

The attacks from the right are one thing, but these are Joe Biden’s people, who say he’s been a good president, who say he’s accomplished a great deal, but who say his age renders him either too likely or too certain to lose to Donald Trump. It’s the one problem he can’t fix.

At the same time, a new report says the Resistance is growing frustrated and burned out.

Nate Silver, the data guru and hardly a right-winger, says: "Personally, I crossed the rubicon in November, concluding that Biden should stand down if he wasn’t going to be able to run a normal re-election campaign — meaning, things like conduct a Super Bowl interview. Yes, it's a huge risk and, yes, Biden can still win. But he's losing now and there's no plan to fix the problems."

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After noting that an improving economy hasn’t helped him, Silver says "it’s become even clearer that Biden’s age is an enormous problem for him. As many as 86% of Americans say he’s too old in one poll, though numbers in the 70-to-75% range are more common — still an overwhelming majority in a bitterly-divided country." 

And that wasn’t helped by the special counsel’s report calling him an elderly man with a poor memory.

"But even the most optimistic Democrats, if you read between the lines, are really arguing that Democrats could win despite Biden and not because of him. Biden is probably a below-replacement-level candidate at this point because Americans have a lot of extremely rational concerns about the prospect of a Commander-in-Chief who would be 86 years old by the end of his second term. It is entirely reasonable to see this as disqualifying."

Wait, there’s more. 

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"I can now point you to moments when he is faltering in his campaign for the presidency because his age is slowing him. This distinction between the job of the presidency and the job of running for the presidency keeps getting muddied, including by Biden himself. And what I think we’re seeing is that he is not up for this. He is not the campaigner he was, even five years ago…The way he moves, the energy in his voice."

Ezra Klein, the uber-liberal New York Times podcaster, also wants the president out. 

"Step one, unfortunately, is convincing Biden that he should not run again. That he does not want to risk being Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a heroic, brilliant public servant who caused the outcome she feared most because she didn’t retire early enough."

Despite what he called the "Kamala Harris problem," Klein says to assume that Biden steps aside. "Then what? Well, then Democrats do something that used to be common in politics but hasn’t been in decades. They pick their nominee at the convention." 

Silver agrees with this scenario as well.

I’m here to tell you, barring a major health scare, that’s not happening. Biden has been running for president since 1987 (I did a long interview with him during that campaign). He finally got the job. He likes being in charge. He’s not going to walk away.

And in fairness, Biden has made adjustments in the last two weeks. He now takes on-camera questions from reporters almost every day, sometimes longer than others. Just yesterday, he walked over to say, in the wake of Alexei Navalny’s murder, he’d be announcing a package of sanctions against Russia on Friday. And he’s given two televised speeches.

Still, liberal Times columnist Michelle Goldberg has been arguing since 2022 that Biden should step aside, and without a major change in strategy, "he should find some medical pretext to step aside in time for a replacement to be chosen at the Democratic convention."

Moderate conservative Ross Douthat says flatly in his Times column that Biden should not be running for re-election.

As if the Times might be in danger of under-covering this issue, the paper also says that "anti-Trump voters are grappling with another powerful sentiment: exhaustion."

"Some folks are burned out on outrage," Rebecca Lee Funk, founder of the liberal activist group Outrage, told the paper. 

A Pittsburgh security guard said  "It’s crisis fatigue, for sure."

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How about the right? National Review’s Noah Rothman, who thinks Biden will narrowly win, explains the grand voting shift that has the Democrats in trouble:

"Despite his self-set reputation as a lunch-pail-toting nine-to-fiver with familial roots set deep in the carbon-rich soil of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Joe Biden has presided over the hemorrhaging of his party’s support among non-college-educated voters. The Democratic Party is increasingly dominated by degree-holders…The party is pinning all its electoral hopes on driving up turnout among this relatively affluent, highly educated slice of the electorate. The big problem with that plan is that there just aren’t enough of those voters…

"In 1999, according to Gallup’s historical surveys, working-class Americans identified more as Democrats than as Republicans by 14 points. Today, that has flipped, with the GOP enjoying a 14-point advantage over Democrats among those voters. Democrats have suffered similarly with young voters: Today, only 8% more voters between the ages of 18 and 29 associate themselves with the Democratic Party than with the GOP." 

This is eye-popping for those of us who grew up with the Republicans holding the monopoly on wealthier college graduates and favoring aggressive military intervention abroad.

Rothman concludes: "Even with Trump at the top of the ticket, Democrats appear committed to a strategy that will produce, at best, the narrowest of re-election victories."

On the other side, meanwhile, Nikki Haley gave a South Carolina speech to declare she’s not going anywhere. Plenty of Republicans have "surrendered" to pressure because "they didn’t want to be left out of the club. Of course, many of the same politicians who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him. They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party…I feel no need to kiss the ring. I have no fear of Trump’s retribution. I’m not looking for anything from him, my own political future is of zero concern."

But the most important part of her appearance was when she choked up while discussing her husband (who Trump has taken vague shots at). He is a National Guardsman now serving a year-long deployment in Africa after an earlier one in Afghanistan.

"Michael is at the forefront of my mind," Haley said, her voice breaking. "I wish Michael was here today, and I wish our children and I could see him tonight, but we can’t. He’s serving on the other side of the world."

It was a striking moment because Haley is usually so scripted and disciplined. A burst of emotion in 2008 helped Hillary Clinton win the New Hampshire primary. The problem is that the press will write off Haley if Trump clobbers her in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, no matter how long she keeps campaigning.

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A reporter asked Biden yesterday whether he’d rather run against Trump or Haley. He responded, "I don’t care," while walking away.

But given that Haley is 52, I believe he and his advisers very much care. At 77, while projecting a much more vigorous persona, Trump is the one opponent who might help Biden neutralize the issue that most threatens his re-election campaign.

Media meltdown: Why journalism is battered and bleeding

Let’s start with the good news.

With a flick of a finger, more information is instantaneously available than at any time in human history. Stories, columns, opinions, video, photos, music, movies, texts, social media, streaming, podcasts. There are more ways to consume–desktop, phone, tablet, smartwatch–and infinitely more ways to voice your views.

Okay, enough of that.

The news business is in a tailspin. Firings and layoffs and buyouts are decimating its ranks. Publications and websites are folding. Revenue is plunging. Credibility is at an all-time low. And AI is starting to gobble up jobs.

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Worst of all, after the pandemic, scandals and impeachments, economic anxiety and political gridlock, interest in news is declining.

In L.A. they’re always worried about the Big One. For media people it feels like the earthquake has already struck.

The billionaire owner of the once-mighty Los Angeles Times, Patrick Soon-Shiong, has fired the editor and more than 20 percent of its staff, devastating the Washington bureau and several key units. The billionaire owner of the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, has given buyouts to 240 staffers, decimating the metro staff and losing many of the paper’s biggest names.

If newspapers aren’t owned by these wealthy moguls, they’re increasingly controlled by hedge funds whose strip-mining tactics have reduced them to a skeleton of their former selves.

From Vice to Vox, from Time (15 percent laid off) to Business Insider (8 percent), from Sports Illustrated (blown up) to BuzzFeed News (shuttered), the carnage is everywhere.

And just yesterday, the Messenger, a news and aggregation site launched by Jimmy Finkelstein, former owner of the Hill, shut down after less than a year, having lost $38 million and some staffers lured from top publications.

CNN just had a major round of layoffs. Cable news audiences are aging, and cord-cutting is growing in popularity. 

It’s not just that the voracious Internet broke the business model; that happened a quarter-century ago. It’s that there seems to be no end in sight. 

"Journalists across the country burst into flames of panic this week, as bad news for the news business crested and erupted everywhere all at once," writes Jack Shafer in Politico.

The impact is greatest on local reporting, with far fewer folks to check up on their city halls and statehouses, especially in smaller markets.

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"No matter how many heroic nonprofit newsrooms like the Baltimore Banner and Daily Memphian take root, no matter how many Substack-like newsletters blossom or creators emerge to drop their videos on YouTube, you can’t deny the journalism business’ decline," Shafer writes.

What’s remarkable to me is how many of these pieces, and there have been many, overlook the importance of political bias. Republicans have been complaining about a liberal tilt since I began to read newspapers. Now, in the Trump era, half the country believes the media have become the opposition party, determined to block their man from returning to the White House. But during the Biden presidency, a growing percentage of those on the left have lost trust in the business as well.

You have Red and Blue America, each filled with anger, each side viewing the other as evil and dangerous, with the press having forfeited its standing as a neutral arbiter of facts. 

"What makes this so unnerving," says the Atlantic, "is the fact that the meltdown has come amid—and in seeming defiance of—a generally booming economy. The ranks of professional journalists keep declining even as overall unemployment stays low, incomes rise, and the stock market reaches new heights." 

The author, Paul Farhi, a longtime media reporter for the Washington Post, just took the paper’s buyout.

"What’s more, a presidential-election cycle tends to produce a surge of readers, viewers, and advertisers as people pay closer attention to the news. Not this time, at least so far."

Beyond news fatigue, Farhi notes, "Facebook has steadily reduced the amount of news that users see in their feed, wiping out a major source of traffic." I’d add that Google has gobbled some of that revenue as well.

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There are obviously exceptions. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe are strong franchises. Fox News exceeds the prime-time ratings of CNN and MSNBC combined. But even television networks feel compelled to pour money into online shows and pay sites.

"Will journalism become a hobby like scrapbooking or street busking, done on the cheap or for donations, but one without much of a career path?" Politico asks.

I’m more pessimistic than I’ve ever been, and there’s no easy solution. Some say government subsidies are needed, but that raises serious conflict questions. And if zillionaires can’t revive newspapers and magazines, what hope is there for ordinary companies and local owners?

I do think that just as television didn’t wipe out radio, journalism will have to morph into new and more compelling forms to survive. Who would have thought even three years ago that everyone and their brother-in-law would have a podcast?

But people are willing to pay monthly fees for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and the like, though they are going through a belt-tightening wave as well, with Spotify having just axed 17 percent of its staff. 

If news outlets can’t convince most of the public that their product is worth buying, they bear the ultimate blame.

Trump goes to federal immunity hearing, skipping Iowa, seizes media spotlight

Donald Trump dominated the news again yesterday – we’re talking wall-to-wall all morning – simply by showing up for court.

In fact, with less than a week till the Iowa caucuses, he’ll spend two days in court – yesterday’s D.C. appearance and Thursday’s closing arguments in the civil fraud trial in New York – although in both cases he doesn’t need to show up. (In between he’ll do that Iowa town hall on Fox.)

The three-judge federal appeals panel that heard Trump’s claim of presidential immunity – two Biden appointees and one by George H.W. Bush – were openly skeptical of the arguments offered by the former president’s lawyer.

Ironically, this comes as Joe Biden’s campaign officials are complaining to journalists brought to the Wilmington headquarters that Trump should be covered more as a candidate and less as a defendant.

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And yet there’s no question that the immunity hearing is crucial. If the appellate panel upholds Trump’s claim that he’s immune from prosecution for anything that can be construed as an official act, Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 case will be dead in the water. If the panel rules against Trump, the prosecution goes forward before the election. Of course, like Trump’s appeal of the Maine and Colorado ballot bans, it will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

But by his sheer presence in the downtown criminal courthouse – and speaking to reporters afterward – Trump boosted the visibility of the hearing. Just by sitting in the same courtroom as Smith, he made it part of his campaign.

And that’s been the play all along. 

Each of the four indictments has boosted Trump politically, pushing his poll numbers up and denying his GOP rivals of much-needed oxygen, as Ron DeSantis has said. Trump’s loyal MAGA followers see these charges as a Democratic plot to keep him out of the White House. 

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The more the media spotlight follows the ex-president to the courthouses, the more he can use them as a campaign vehicle.

Fueling the drama: another swatting incident, this one at Jack Smith’s home. Law enforcement officials showed up on Christmas after being falsely told that the prosecutor had shot his wife. The judge in the case, Tanya Chutkan, was also swatted.

Trump’s attorney made the strange argument that no president can be prosecuted without first being impeached and convicted. The judges weren’t buying that, saying a hypothetical president could use the military to murder his political opponents and resign before impeachment. I’d add that he could avoid an impeachment conviction if his party controlled the Senate.

Judge Karen Henderson, the Bush appointee, said: "I think it’s paradoxical to say that his constitutional duty to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’ allows him to violate criminal law." Audio from the hearing was made available. 

Biden tried to change the trajectory of his campaign with his speeches near Valley Forge and in Charleston, making harsh personal attacks on his predecessor as a liar who fomented an insurrection and is a champion of White supremacy.

But on most days, Biden is a low-key presence, taking only two quick questions from reporters with terse answers, doing fewer interviews, and news conferences are as rare as a fly-by of Jupiter’s moons. Trump, by contrast, is constantly making news. I never thought I’d see a time when a former president overshadowed an incumbent president, but here we are.

On the video channel of pillow guy Mike Lindell, Trump said: "And when there’s a crash, I hope it’s going to be during this next 12 months, because I don’t want to be Herbert Hoover." This drew media denunciations that he was rooting for a crash – especially since the stock market just hit new highs.

Trump made a video – a virtual requirement for TV – saying that what was happening to him "only happens in third world countries or banana republics. They’re using their Department of Injustice to go after his political [opponent] and this is all him," meaning Biden, "a hundred percent him. He’s the one that told them to do it and they obey his orders. It’s a shame."

He added that "Joe" has to "be very careful… You don’t indict your political opponent because he opposes the corrupt election, which you know was corrupt."

When Trump spoke for 10 minutes outside the Washington courthouse yesterday, he said they’d had "a very good day." But he added that if he loses the appeal, "It will be bedlam in the country."

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Both CNN and MSNBC soon broke away. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins offered an instant fact check, saying there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in 2020, and that Biden is not prosecuting Trump. 

Even after a contentious Pentagon news conference revealing that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has prostate cancer and that his refusal to disclose that serious illness is under investigation, the networks quickly went back to the Trump court hearing.

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Another day, another news cycle, dominated by Donald Trump.

WATCH: Reporters pile on frustrated Karine Jean-Pierre over Biden plan to join UAW picket

Reporters at Monday's White House press briefing piled on press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over President Biden's decision to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) on the picket line Tuesday amid their strike against the Big Three car manufacturers.

During the briefing, an increasingly frustrated Jean-Pierre pushed back as multiple members of the media questioned why Biden would be picketing alongside the union members if the administration's position was to avoid getting involved in the negotiations between the companies and the UAW.

One reporter asked if Biden's decision to picket meant he supported the demands of the union, such as a 40% pay increase and a shorter work week.

"I'm not going to get into the details of what's being negotiated right now on the table with — certainly with the parties," Jean-Pierre said, a position she continued to take amid the subsequent questions about Biden's plan to picket.

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"I want to press you a little bit on what you just said. You said that the president supports the autoworkers. Does that mean that the president is siding with the autoworkers over the auto companies?" another reporter asked.

"What we're saying is we're not going to get into the negotiation. Right? This is — When it comes to a negotiation, that is something for the parties to decide on. That is something for them to discuss," Jean-Pierre said.

Another reporter suggested Biden was "interfering" with the negations by joining the picket before calling out Jean-Pierre's refusal to get into specifics about the dispute while Biden plans to "literally" stand with workers and their terms.

"To be very clear, he is standing with them to make sure that they get a fair share. That is what he's standing with them on. He's standing with them — and we've said this — that they get — the record profits mean a record contract for UAW. That is why he's going. That is what he's standing for," she responded.

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She added that the two sides in the dispute would have to decide what "a win-win" would look like, but that Biden thought the workers "deserve a fair share."

"But it seems like he's taking away the — some past presidents have been an arbiter between two sides that are in conflict. It seems like going to the picket line, he's not an arbiter between the two sides. He's choosing a side by standing on the picket line," the reporter said, calling the administration's position "confusing."

"I disagree. It is not confusing. What he is saying, and we've been very clear, he stands with union workers. He stands with the workers. He has said, and they have said, he is the most pro-union president in history. And that is what he's doing. He is going to stand in solidarity at the picket line with the workers," Jean-Pierre hit back.

Another reporter began to also ask about the picket, sparking protest from Jean-Pierre.

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"Oh my goodness. You're going to ask the same question? I'm not going to change my answer," she said, with what appeared to be a frustrated laugh.

"It's fine. I'm going to ask again," the reporter said.

"Feel free. And I'm going to give you the same answer," Jean-Pierre responded.

The reporter questioned if Biden would be visiting the picket line or if he would actually be walking it.

"He's going to join the picket line," Jean-Pierre said.

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She then dismissed the reporters question whether there could be "political risk" involved in joining the picket.

"He is standing with the autoworkers. He is standing with the workers. We are not involved in negotiations. That is something for them to decide what is going to work for the parties that are involved. But he is standing with the autoworkers. That's what the president is doing," she said.

WATCH: Karine Jean-Pierre launches rant over Biden impeachment inquiry, snaps at reporter in testy moment

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre went off Wednesday when asked repeatedly about the impeachment inquiry into President Biden, even snapping at a reporter who tried to push back against her claim that the president "didn't do anything wrong."

The exchange occurred during the daily White House press briefing after Jean-Pierre was asked how confident she was that there would be no evidence incriminating Biden in his son Hunter's foreign business dealings, his alleged involvement in which has been the centerpiece of House Republicans' investigation into the family's finances.

"Any specifics to the inquiry, certainly — I want to say this at the top … I'm going to refer you to my colleagues at the counsel's office," Jean-Pierre responded, something she noted throughout the briefing when asked questions related to the inquiry.

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She attempted to deflect, referencing Biden's upcoming speech on "Bidenomics," and arguing it was part of the "real issues" the American people truly wanted to hear about, rather than Republicans' investigations.

"They have spent all year investigating the president. That's what they've spent all year doing and have turned up with no evidence, none, that he did anything wrong. I mean, that is what we've heard over and over again from their almost year-long investigation. And that's because the president didn't do anything wrong," she said.

New York Post reporter Steve Nelson attempted to push back against Jean-Pierre's claim, prompting her to snap at him.

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"Even House Republicans have said the evidence does not exist. House Republicans have said that to my friend in the back who just yelled at, which is incredibly inappropriate," she said, appearing frustrated. 

"But House Republicans have said that there doesn't — there doesn't — it doesn't exist. Their own investigations have actually debunked their ridiculous attacks. And the only reason Speaker McCarthy is doing this — is doing this political stunt — and we have seen it, you all have reported, is because Marjorie Taylor Greene has said — she threatened to shut down the government," she said. 

Jean-Pierre went on, listing the Republicans she said were threatening House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's speakership, and calling the impeachment inquiry "baseless."

DEMS EMBROILED IN SCANDAL FOR SUPPORTING MASSIVE SPENDING BILL THAT GAVE LARGE SUMS TO THEIR OWN PRIVATE ORGS

McCarthy announced the formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, stating at a press conference that House Republicans had "uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden's conduct."

He listed allegations of "abuse of power, obstruction and corruption" made against Biden by several GOP-led committees who have been investigating the president and his family's foreign business dealings.

Fox News' Chris Pandolfo and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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