Biden lapses on another world leader as he angrily defends mental fitness: ‘My memory is fine’ – Washington Examiner


President Joe Biden remained defiant regarding his handling of classified documents and his memory, hours after special counsel Robert Hur cast aspersions on both.

“There’s even a reference that I don’t remember when my son died. How in the hell dare do they raise that?” Biden told the nation Thursday from the White House‘s Diplomatic Reception Room after Hur declined to press charges for mishandling classified documents. “Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, ‘Was it any of his damn business?’ I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away.”

Under intense scrutiny from reporters, Biden stood by his handling of classified documents, adamant he did not disclose sensitive information and he did not know his aides had moved some of the records. He also forcefully defended his memory.

“My memory is fine,” the president said. “That is your judgment! That is not the judgment of the press!” he added of polling that indicates concerns about his age and mental acuity.

But in a poor-timed gaffe when he sought to prove his fitness for office, Biden later misidentified the presidents of Mexico and Egypt when speaking about the Israel-Hamas war.

“I think as you know initially, the president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to humanitarian material to get in. I convinced him,” Biden said, meaning to reference Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

President Joe Biden pauses as he arrives to speak in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The lapse marked the fourth time in recent days that Biden has misidentified a world leader. He confused current French President Emmanuel Macron with former President Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996. On Wednesday, he twice confused former German Chancellor Angela Merkel with her predecessor Helmut Kohl, who died in 2017 and left political office in 1998.

Biden also needed a reporter’s help to remember the name of the Hamas terrorist group on Tuesday. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described the incidents as a common occurrence.

President Joe Biden speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Biden, White House lawyers, and the president’s personal attorney earlier defended the commander in chief from the worst of Hur’s criticism, including his report’s finding that Biden would be difficult to prosecute because he would portray himself to a jury, “as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.” 

“We do not believe that the report’s treatment of President Biden’s memory is accurate or appropriate,” White House special counsel Robert Sauber and Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal counsel, wrote in a joint response included in the report.

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