Biden calls reporter 'pain in the neck' for asking off topic question

US President chides NBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell for not sticking to questions about Iraq combat mission drawdown.

Dan Verbin ,

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden
Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

President Joe Biden called a reporter a “pain in the neck” on Monday for not sticking to questions about the US ending its combat mission in Iraq

The barb from the president came when NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell ignored Biden’s call for questions “about Iraq” and instead asked a question about a vaccine mandate for health care workers in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), reported the New York Post.

“You are such a pain in the neck. But I’m going to answer your question because we’ve known each other for so long. It has nothing to do with Iraq,” Biden said.

He then confirmed that the VA will be the first federal department to mandate COVID vaccinations.

This month, O’Donnell was elected president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.

On Monday, Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the White House to sign an agreement ending the 18-year long American combat mission in Iraq.

Biden said that the US military will transition to a role focusing on assisting Iraq in combating ISIS, reported US News.

A joint-statement released by Biden and al-Kadhimi said that American personnel would focus on training, advising and intelligence-sharing with their Iraqi counterparts.

"Our shared fight against ISIS is critical for the stability of the region and our counterterrorism operation will continue, even as we shift to this new phase we’re going to be talking about,” Biden said.