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Biden stumbles over reporter's 'hacktastic question' on using the word 'illegal' to describe 'immigrants'

President Joe Biden was asked by a reporter Friday whether he regretted using the term "illegal" to describe an "immigrant" in this State of the Union address.

Social media shredded a reporter Friday for how she questioned President Biden about his language in condemning an illegal immigrant murder suspect, while Biden's response came under fire as well.

During his State of the Union address Thursday, Biden referred to the alleged killer of Georgia student Laken Riley as "an illegal." This occurred after Biden was heckled by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., to say the name of Riley, who was allegedly murdered by a Venezuelan illegal immigrant last month while jogging in Athens, Ga. 

Biden's use of the term "illegal," even in reference to an alleged illegal immigrant murderer, rankled fellow Democrats and some members of the media.

As the president departed for a campaign trip to Philadelphia Friday, he was pressed by Reuters journalist Nandita Bose, "Do you regret using the word ‘illegal’ to describe immigrants last night, sir?"

"Well, I probably … I don't re-" Biden gave a hesitant, jumbled response before asserting the murder suspect was "technically not supposed to be here." 


"This reporter’s question is a total straw man," Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Biden didn’t use illegal to refer to ‘immigrants’. Immigrants come legally. He used it to refer to illegal aliens. In this case, an alleged illegal alien murderer. Alien is the legal term under US law/Immigration & Nationality Act."

"’Patriotic correctness’ strikes again. People coming across the border ARE immigrants," the policy director of the American Immigration Council Aaron Reichlin-Melnick added, with a screencap of the dictionary definition. "They fit both the dictionary definition ('a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence') and the legal definition in the INA (any noncitizen who is not a nonimmigrant)."

"That would be Reuters's Nandita Bose," NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck added. "Such a hacktastic question."

"The journalists in the media care more about the word illegal being used than a 22 yr old woman being murdered," podcaster Ahmed Al Asliken wrote. "No one reminds you why they deserve to be despised and hated more than they do."


"Really awesome job by reporters getting to what’s important. Calling someone ‘illegal’ is the real issue, for sure," podcaster and author Tim Murtaugh, who worked on Trump's 2020 campaign, wrote. "Doesn’t even occur to ask Biden if he regrets releasing the ‘illegal’ who killed Laken Riley (Biden calls her ‘Lincoln.’) Instead they ask if he regrets the word."

"The press and the Democrats hate when truth is conveyed in exacting language," author Justin Hart wrote.

Bose tweeted about her question to the president, "Off to Philly with Biden today and asked ⁦@POTUS⁩ if he regrets using the word ‘illegal’ to describe immigrants in his SOTU speech last night and he said 'technically he’s not supposed to be here.'"

"He was talking about a specific person - the killer of Laken (though he said Lincoln) Riley - not immigrants," author Avatans Kumar responded.

Substack writer Jim Treacher mocked the reporter as if she had basically asked, "Mr. President, why did you insult the murderer of that woman?"

The Spectator contributing editor Stephen L. Miller responded to directly to Bose, "Ma'am, he didn't use it to describe immigrants in the US. He used it to describe a man who beat a 22-year-old woman to death."

"They won't be satisfied with this and are going to bully him or KJP into apologizing to the illegal immigrant murderer," he added.

Others took aim at Biden's lackluster response, with some comparing it to his energy the night before.

"You say that they're ‘technically not supposed to be here’ but you keep letting them in!" Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., wrote.

"Biden has no clue where he is and can't answer easy questions..." comedian Tim Young wrote. "This clip is all you need to know about why he won't take a cognitive test."

"'Technically' not supposed to be here, but you know, like no big deal or anything," senior advisor for the House Committee on Homeland Security John Cooper wrote.

"Yep. Also Biden didn’t even seem to remember what he said last night," Twitchy's Doug Powers wrote. He also wrote, "The ‘energy’ cocktail from last night has definitely worn off."

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