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Idaho Sen. Jim Risch grills Secretary of State over President Biden mute button conspiracy theory

Sen. Jim Risch ask Antony Blinken about a rumored button used to cut of President Joe Biden's microphone during speeches, which Blinken confirmed doesn't exist.

WASHINGTON — Senator Risch, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was one of the first to ask questions of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the at-best bungled withdrawal of Americans from Afghanistan.

"Look, we've all seen this, we saw it as recently as yesterday, somebody in the White House has authority to press the button and stop the president -- cut off the president's speaking ability and sound -- who is that person?" Risch asked.

"I think anyone who knows the president, knows he speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself, no one else does," Blinken responded.

"He does speak for himself but what happens when somebody doesn't want him speaking? You're telling us you don't know anything about this, that somebody cuts him off in mid-sentence, is that what you're' trying to tell this committee because everybody here has seen it?" Risch pressed.

Blinded confirmed there is no such person. 

"Senator, I'm telling you based on my own experience with the president over the last 20 years, anyone who tried to stop him from saying what he wanted to say would probably not be long for their job," Blinken retorted.

Per Secretary Blinken, Biden is in charge, just not of the press pool. And this is what Senator Risch dipping his toe into the conspiracy theory pool is based on.

Risch mentioned what happened Monday in Idaho, while president Biden was visiting with fire officials at NIFC. About 25 minutes into his sit down with those officials, after comments were made by most of them seated at the table, Biden asked a question but the pool camera shuts off mid-sentence.

Members of the media pool were rushed out and the camera turned to the back door where people were heading out.

It was well-covered by the Washington Post, but since KTVB's Joe Parris was in that pool of reporters on Monday, The 208 thought we'd ask him about it.

For those not familiar with covering the president, this happens all the time, where live feeds end before the event does. Those questions were not intended to be part of the live feed from the beginning, per the president's public schedule.

Editor's Note: Watch the video above for the full story from Joe Parris.

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