Good evening. Tonight, my colleague Michael Grynbaum takes us inside the safe space that President Biden turned to this week. We’re also covering the family drama unfolding on Capitol Hill, as Democrats reckon with the path forward for Biden’s embattled presidential campaign. — Jess Bidgood

A few minutes before 10 a.m. on Monday, Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” paused to listen to a producer’s voice in her ear. “We have a special guest,” she informed her viewers, before a familiar voice piped up.

“Hey, Mika,” President Biden said.

There are very few journalists on a first-name basis with this president, and even fewer cable news hosts. But Brzezinski and her husband and co-host, Joe Scarborough, have carved out a strikingly intimate relationship with the man in the Oval Office — which is why Biden turned to their airwaves at a moment of political peril.

Their on-air phone conversation hearkened back to the days when a different politician under pressure regularly called into “Morning Joe”: Donald Trump, who as a Republican candidate in 2016 was a frequent guest. (Indeed, Trump made his own cable TV appearance hours after Biden’s “Morning Joe” cameo, calling into “Hannity” on Fox News.)

But Trump and the “Morning Joe” crew fell out, and Scarborough and Brzezinski have since emerged as two of Biden’s most stalwart champions in the news media. Scarborough made headlines when he raised concerns after Biden’s poor debate performance, but Brzezinski has refused to waver.

“Morning Joe” has a fervent audience of Washington insiders, and it has long been a must-watch in the Biden White House. The president watches segments and has asked aides to follow up on what he sees. Biden also chats on the phone with Scarborough and Brzezinski on a semiregular basis.

That familiarity was on display on Monday’s show, when Brzezinski ticked off the names of journalists and political leaders who have called for Biden to withdraw from the race, and asked the president about his “plan of attack.” Biden responded by declaring contempt for “the elites” — though he was quick to reassure the hosts, “I’m not talking about you guys.”

President Biden’s decision to turn to “Morning Joe” during a time of political challenge showcases the unique relationship he has with the hosts, who have been steadfast supporters of his campaign. The intimate nature of their on-air conversations and regular phone chats highlights the influence that media personalities can have on political figures. It is a reminder of the power of the media in shaping public opinion and political narratives.