White House grilled: who handles nukes alert after Biden's bedtime?

The press secretary addressed protocol for late-night nuclear threats amid questions about the president's schedule.

White House grilled: who handles nukes alert after Biden's bedtime?
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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The White House faced scrutiny on Tuesday regarding President Biden's availability for critical decisions after 8 PM, following reports that he prefers to end his workday at that time.

Last week, The New York Times reported that Biden told Democratic governors during a private White House meeting he would stop scheduling events after 8 PM to get more sleep. This revelation prompted questions about the president's ability to respond to potential crises during late hours.

During a press briefing, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the protocol for contacting the president in case of a nuclear threat after his reported bedtime.

"Say that the Pentagon at some point picks up an incoming nuke. It's 11 p.m. Who do you call? The first lady?" Doocy inquired.

Jean-Pierre responded that the president has a team to inform him of any news that is "pertinent and important" to the American people. She added that Biden has appointed someone to relay information from the National Security Council in such scenarios, though she did not specify who this person is.

The press secretary also addressed questions about the First Lady's role in presidential meetings, stating, "The president is the president of the United States. He makes decisions."

When asked about Biden's commitment to serving a full second term if re-elected, Jean-Pierre affirmed, "Yes."

The exchange also touched on concerns about the president's mental acuity. Jean-Pierre dismissed a comment Biden reportedly made about his brain as a "lighthearted joke," emphasizing that the president often makes such quips.

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  • By David Menzies

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