Biden Has Instructions for Drivers (If You Can Understand What He's Saying)

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

As we reported yesterday, Joe Biden was asked about whether he had been briefed that Colonial Pipeline had paid a ransom.

According to the report, they paid a $5 million dollar ransom within hours of facing a cyber attack on Friday from a ransomware group. The report also claimed that the government was aware that they’d paid the ransom. But we were not told about it for days.

Biden refused to answer the question, pausing for a moment and then saying he had “no comment” on the issue.

Biden also made a strange comment when asked whether Vladimir Putin was involved in the attack. Asked if he was “confident that Putin was not involved” in Colonial Pipeline hack, Pres. Biden replies, “I am confident that I read the report of the FBI accurately, and they say…he was not, the government was not.”

But even though the Colonial Pipeline is back in operation, it’s going to take a while to get things up to speed so there may still be shortages related to the shutdown for a bit.

Biden tried to tell people that they shouldn’t be panicking over the lack of gas. At least I think that’s what he’s trying to say here. He’s speaking so slowly, seemingly trying to read a teleprompter. He sounds heavily medicated, as my colleague Bonchie observed yesterday about another remark.

“Now, here’s what drives – the driver – in the states that are affected – here’s what you can do – the drivers. Don’t panic, number one.”

According to the Voice of America, Biden went on to say it was “a temporary situation” and discourage hoarding of more gas than you need.

When he’s having that much trouble, even with a teleprompter, you know there’s a big issue there. He appears to completely not know what he’s reading as he’s reading it. It’s like he’s struggling to understand what he’s saying.

Not to mention that this reassurance is a bit late. It should have come days ago, with more transparency about the situation. If he’s not commenting on whether a ransom was paid, it’s pretty clear there was one paid. When you do that, you encourage more ransomware attacks. Even paying the ransom may not help much. Turns out that even when Colonial reportedly paid the $5 million, according to the VOA, they were given a decrypting tool that didn’t work, so they still largely had to work out the issues themselves.

The Biden team needs to come clean on the ransom and they need to outline what specifically they are doing to protect critical infrastructure like this in the future.