President Biden touched off a social media firestorm after speaking from a fake White House set that included the backdrop of a digital picture of the Rose Garden in full bloom through a fake window.
The set, which was used Wednesday to host financial and banking leaders talking about the debt ceiling, is part of the windowless South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is next door to the White House. The room has no view of the Rose Garden.
The site is used for events that broadcast online or requires a large amount of video conferencing.
Twitter and other social media sites erupted, with some mocking Mr. Biden over the fake set. One Twitter user called it “a literal game show set,” while others accused him of trying to mislead Americans into believing he was in the West Wing.
Conservative commentator Jack Posobiec called it a “Truman Show Presidency,” joking that the White House gave Mr. Biden “a playschool desk and fake oval office in a fake White House.”
Stephen Miller, a former Trump adviser and speechwriter, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Biden used the set because it was easier for him to read a script from a monitor.
“The reason Biden uses this bizarre virtual set for televised meetings — and not an actual room like East Room, Cabinet, Oval, Roosevelt, Sit Room, etc. — is because it allows him to read a script directly from a face-on monitor (& w/out teleprompter glass that can be seen on camera),” he wrote on Twitter.
Abigail Marone, press secretary for Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, wondered why they built the set in the first place.
“Why did the White House build a literal game show set complete with fake windows for Joe Biden??? So weird,” she tweeted.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Biden has used the set several times since taking office, and each time it has sparked questions on Twitter about why he’s using it.
Last month, Mr. Biden received his COVID-19 booster vaccine on the set, which was also followed by online speculation that the entire event was staged.
One Instagram post shared by Blazing Patriots, a conservative group, showed a photo of Mr. Biden receiving the shot with the caption, “FAKE PRESIDENT IN A FAKE WHITE HOUSE RECEIVING A FAKE BOOSTER.”