Biden 'Grumpy' Over Ukraine, Sidelines NSA Adviser Sullivan
In this file photo, national security adviser Jake Sullivan joined Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden for a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Pete Marovich-Pool/Getty Images)
Joe Biden is "grumpy" these days, a White House insider shared with Newsmax.
The high-level Democrat, who has known Biden for years, said the president spends most of his White House meetings complaining about his low approval numbers, bad press and the fact he's not getting credit "for what's going right."
Notably, Biden sees Ukraine’s success in holding off Russia's massive invasion as a major "win" for his administration, but feels he's gotten little to no credit.
Biden is said to be so cranky about the Ukraine matter that he has moved almost all federal oversight of the Russian war from his young national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, to chief of staff Ron Klain.
"This is the same thing that happened with Afghanistan, when Joe and Klain decided to control the flow and looped out State, the Pentagon and even Jake," the insider said, noting the significant chaos that ensued as a result.
Biden is said to trust Klain, his former vice presidential chief of staff during the Obama years, "like a son."
Klain is said to return the loyalty. Biden likes making decisions "by the gut," the source noted, adding he sticks to those decisions even if facts and events prove him wrong.
"But Ron's not going to tell POTUS he's wrong," the source said.
Another source confirmed that Sullivan has been increasingly sidelined for several weeks from leading administration efforts on the Ukraine, arguably the most important national security issue of the day.
The White House declined to comment on Sullivan's status, but last week the national security adviser's distance from Biden was confirmed obliquely.
Just over a week ago, the White House announced that Sullivan had contracted COVID-19. As for Biden’s possible infection, the White House assured the press there was no risk.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson assured reporters that the national security adviser "is asymptomatic and he has not been in close contact with the president."
With multiple foreign policy issues dominating the administration, from Ukraine to Iran's nuclear deal, China's increasing belligerence toward Taiwan and other matters, several former national security officials from previous administrations were stunned by the White House’s admission that Sullivan had no direct, close interaction with the president.
The national security adviser’s office holds a premium spot in the West Wing near the Oval Office. One-time national security adviser Henry Kissinger noted its importance because of "the geography of power, its closeness to the president."
National security advisers typically have daily face-to-face interaction with the president and they often travel with the president.
"I think the bigger problem is that, from what the White House says repeatedly, there are hardly any advisers who are 'close contact' to the president," John Bolton, who served as former President Donald Trump's national security adviser, told Newsmax. "If (Biden) really is as isolated as the press office is at pains to tell us, that is a major obstacle to effective decision-making."