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Despite the fact that it was a serious issue for months before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Joe Biden cynically used TikTokers to blame soaring inflation on the conflict in Ukraine.
About 30 popular internet figures attended a zoom briefing conducted by the White House, after which they took to their social media accounts to discuss what the White House had briefed them on.
Ellie Zeiler, an 18-year-old Instagram star who has more than 10 million followers, also posted a pro-Biden video as she was asked to do so.
Her video was titled: ‘Why is gas so expensive?’ The influencers were approached by the White House because of their work with a non-profit named Gen Z for Change, although it is unclear if any of them were paid.
In the video, Zeiler did not avoid the fact that she had contacted the Biden Administration.
‘Why is gas so expensive, and why is the United States inflation rate at a four-time decade-high?’ the video asks.
‘I had the opportunity to ask the White House why gas down the street is $7 and here’s what they said.’
‘The first obvious reason is that we’re getting out of a two-year pandemic. When use goes up, the price goes up….
‘But the call was predominantly about Ukraine and Russia, so how does that relate?’ the teenager, who doesn’t have a degree in economics, asked.
‘Russia is one of the top three producers of oil and it is actually their No. 1 revenue source. Now, with Putin starting this horrific fight between Ukraine and Russia, nobody wants to work with him and do international trade.’
Zeller, whose one-minute video was uploaded on Sunday, was one of 30 TikTok stars who joined an official Zoom meeting last Thursday with White House officials and National Security Council staffers, according to the Washington Post.
Biden’s message was spread in light of the announcement last week that inflation was up 7.9 percent compared to last year, the highest increase in 40 years. Cost of living has been mounting for months, and just four days after Putin invaded Ukraine, the latest report period closed – which means Americans are being warned to prepare for even bigger increases in April.
It has become a matter of survival for Biden to shift the blame for the tanking economy as his approval ratings plummet and the outcome of the November midterm elections is predicted to be a grim one for his Democrat party.
According to the Washington Post, Matt Miller, a special adviser at the White House National Security Council for communications, and Psaki led the briefing.
Rob Flaherty, the White House director of digital strategy, told the TikTokers that their reach and influence could be considered ‘a critically important avenue’ for reaching the American public.
Zeiler could be heard asking a question about inflation and what it meant for the country and young people during the meeting, based on audio obtained by the Post.
Among the issues cited by Psaki were supply chain breakdowns, the pandemic, and the increasing cost of energy even before the Russian invasion.
In regards to gas prices, she placed the blame squarely on Putin.
‘It’s his actions, President Putin, that is prompting the rising gas prices,’ Psaki explained. ‘That is what is happening.’
In an interview with The Washington Post, Zeiler said it was an honor to have the opportunity to explain complex situations to young people
‘I’m here to relay the information in a more digestible manner to my followers. I would consider myself a White House correspondent for Gen-Z.’
In addition to dancing at home and sharing makeup tips, her TikTok page shows her on vacation or pulling pranks on her family. Clearly, Biden has hired the best and the brightest to spread his propaganda.
In order to identify the participants, Gen Z For Change, a nonprofit advocacy group, enlisted the help of content creators.
Younger generations were targeted with the information.
‘We joined the White House for a briefing on the U.S. strategic goals in Ukraine so we’re better able to debunk misinformation.
‘As a coalition that reaches half a billion people, we are grateful that the White House chooses to work with us to keep people informed,’ the group stated.
Jules Terpak, an influencer who participated in the briefing call, posted on Twitter: ‘TikTok is the media app that many young people click first after unlocking their phones.’
Additionally, Aaron Parnas, the son of Rudy Giuliani’s indicted former partner Lev Parnas, was on the call.
‘I just got off of a zoom call with the White House about the situation in Ukraine,’ Kahlil Greene, who is a ‘Gen Z historian’ and has 540,000 followers, writes in a video posted to his social media accounts.
It comes as the administration battles a wave of fake news coming out of Moscow, where President Putin is attempting to justify the invasion with false claims about Ukraine.
A majority of the ‘digital creators’ on the White House briefing gave the same summary: the administration was highlighting its work with allies, the support it is giving Ukraine, and its efforts to prevent a wider conflict.