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WATCH: Biden official says it's 'insulting' for Peter Doocy to ask about president's 'free time'

Doocy wanted to know why President Biden hadn't called Chinese President Xi Jinping directly to ask about China escalating tension in the region.

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Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina
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Today during a White House press briefing Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby why President Joe Biden hadn't called Chinese President Xi Jinping directly to ask about China escalating tension in the region.

"I know you said that there was not a call scheduled with Xi. Is there a reason why?" Doocy asked, "because President Biden's known him for decades. He's got a lot of free time up there in the residence this week."

"He doesn't have free time," Kirby replied.

"He can't just pick up the phone and call?" Doocy asked again.

"He's working all the way through his illness, quite frankly, Peter, so that's a little bit insulting," Kirby said, invoking Biden's case of Covid for his inability to conduct foreign policy.

On July 30, 79-year-old Joe Biden was diagnosed with Covid again, or a case of rebound Covid according to White House Doctor Kevin O'Connor, and has been in isolation since then.

"You suggested he has a lot of free time as if he's not doing anything. And you know, that's not the case," Kirby said, cutting off Doocy's follow-up question concerning how Biden spends his isolation time.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that China has started conducting precision missile strikes in the Taiwan Strait.

The military escalation comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite protests from communist China that the trip would be seen as an act of aggression. China blasted her visit as a "severe violation" of its national sovereignty.

"As for a call with President Xi, I don't have anything on the President's schedule to speak to," Kirby told Doocy but iterated that Biden would call the Chinese leader if he thought it would induce "an outcome that he wants to achieve. He certainly would be willing to do that."

Kirby also noted," it's not like he's afraid to pick up the phone and call President Xi."

During their last phone call, President Xi told Biden, "Those who play with fire will only get burnt," and Biden has not rushed to follow up since then. In June, the Daily Mail reported that President Biden will have taken more vacation time off than any other president in the history of the United States.

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