The special counsel report showed investigators saw him as a ‘well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory’
President Biden’s brutal week, marked by a damaging special counsel report scrutinizing his mental acuity, compounded by a series of blunders that exacerbated the issue.
While Biden has faced criticism regarding his cognitive abilities for a while, the events of recent days have heightened these concerns, potentially more than any other week in his presidency.
Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden’s handling of classified documents, released on Thursday, did not recommend criminal charges against the president. However, the investigation revealed “evidence that Biden knowingly retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency while he was a private citizen.”
The report also presented challenges for Biden and the White House as it raised concerns about his memory. It detailed instances where the president faced difficulty recalling important aspects of his life during interviews with investigators, such as his tenure as vice president and the passing of his son Beau.
“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was notably impaired,” the report stated. “He failed to recall crucial details such as his tenure as vice president, initially unable to remember when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and later struggling to recall when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’) during the second day of the interview.”
“It continued to highlight instances where he struggled to recall even recent events, such as the timing of his son Beau’s passing. Additionally, his recollection of significant events, like the Afghanistan debate, appeared unclear. For example, he erroneously claimed to have had a significant disagreement with General Karl Eikenberry, when in reality, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden had previously praised in a memo to President Obama.
The investigators, viewing Biden as a “well-intentioned elderly individual with memory challenges,” expressed concern that his legal team might exploit these “limitations” if the matter were to proceed to trial.
“The report stated that in a scenario where the government needs to demonstrate that Mr. Biden was aware of possessing classified Afghanistan documents post-vice presidency and knowingly chose to retain them, despite being aware of the legal implications, his legal team would likely highlight his memory limitations during the trial.”
In addition to the report outlining worries about his “hazy” memory, Biden’s week was marked by gaffes that further compounded the issue. One incident happened as he attempted to defend his memory in response to the report, mistakenly referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.”
Earlier on the same day, Biden addressed the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference and inadvertently swapped “red state and blue state” with “red state and green state” during his remarks.
“When I said — when I pushed these programs — I said I’m going to be the president of everybody, whether we live in a red state or a green state,” Biden said.
Before that, on Wednesday, Biden addressed attendees at a New York fundraising event and recounted a conversation he claimed to have had with the late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 2021.
Biden recounted that Kohl allegedly asked him what he would say if he learned that 1,000 people had stormed the British Parliament in an attempt to prevent the next prime minister from assuming office.
However, Kohl did not attend the annual meeting, as he had passed away four years before the event. Instead, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was present at the gathering.
And on Sunday, Biden addressed a crowd in Las Vegas where he mistakenly claimed to have met with François Mitterrand, a French president who passed away 28 years ago. He made this error while recounting a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at a G7 gathering just before he assumed office.
“I sat down, and I said, ‘America’s back,'” Biden told the audience. “And Mitterrand from Germany — I mean from France — looked at me and said …”
Biden then took a moment to collect his thoughts before completing the sentence: “Well, how long are you back for?”
Mitterrand, meanwhile, served as France’s president from 1981 to 1995 and passed away in 1996.
Biden’s gaffes this week have accumulated at a faster pace than usual. Nevertheless, he has a history of such incidents involving deceased individuals, ranging from referencing conversations with people who passed away before he was born to questioning their whereabouts during certain events.
In the fall of 2022, Biden informed a group of supporters that he had spoken to the individual who “invented” insulin. Insulin was co-discovered by Frederick Banting and John Macleod. Banting passed away in 1941, while Macleod died in 1935. It’s worth noting that Biden was born in 1942, making it impossible for him to have spoken to either Banting or Macleod.
In September 2022, while speaking at an event, Biden searched for the late Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski in a crowd, unaware that she had died in a car crash the previous month.
During the campaign trail in 2019, Biden told a group of donors that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had passed away six years earlier, expressed concerns about the U.S. under President Donald Trump’s leadership.
The White House did not respond to US Newzs Digital’s request for comment.