The special counsel’s report described the president as an ‘elderly man with a poor memory.’
LEESBURG, Va.—President Joe Biden on Feb. 8 defended his fitness to hold office after a special counsel’s report included statements about his “poor memory.”
In a 388-page report, special counsel Robert Hur announced on Feb. 8 that President Biden will not be criminally charged for allegedly mishandling documents.
The special counsel concluded that the president was not capable of being held responsible for illegally moving classified documents, describing him as an “elderly man with a poor memory” and noting that this would make it difficult to convict him.
However, in remarks to the press at the White House on Thursday, President Biden declared, “My memory is fine.”
The report said, “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended … and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began.”
“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him,” according to the report.
The report described the president “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Earlier, the president welcomed the special counsel’s decision not to pursue charges in his classified documents probe, saying he would continue to focus on his job as president.
“This was an exhaustive investigation going back literally more than 40 years,” President Biden said at this year’s House Democratic retreat in Leesburg, Virginia.
“Special counsel acknowledged I cooperated completely. I did not throw up any roadblocks. I sought no delays,” he said.
He added that he provided the special counsel with all necessary information, including a 5-hour in-person interview conducted over two days in October.
“I was especially pleased to see the Special Counsel made clear the stark difference between this case and Donald Trump’s,” he added.
Several “material differences” between the cases of former President Trump and President Biden are apparent, the special counsel said in his report to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“Most notably, after being given multiple chances to return classified documents and avoid prosecution, Mr. Trump allegedly did the opposite,” the report said.
The president came under scrutiny for mixing the names of world leaders.
During the press briefing today, the White House was questioned several times about why President Biden said he talked to dead European leaders during a summit in 2021.
Biden, in a speech on Feb. 4, confused French President Emmanuel Macron with deceased French leader François Mitterrand. He also mixed up former Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, with deceased German leader Helmut Kohl on Feb. 7.
In response, the White House press secretary stated that people do occasionally misspeak.
“This happens to all of us. It’s common,” she said on Feb. 8
House Democrats met for their annual Feb. 7–9 retreat to debate policy measures and strategies for regaining control of the House in November.
President Biden’s job approval ratings have tanked recently, particularly on critical policy matters such as the economy and border security.
According to a recent NBC News poll, President Biden is more than 20 points behind the Republican frontrunner, President Trump, on which candidate would better handle the economy. In addition, the incumbent president is behind his predecessor by more than 30 points when it comes to managing border security.
House Democrats, however, aren’t concerned about the president’s low approval ratings, stating that they plan to continue to praise the economy and make their case to the public directly.
President Biden has accused his predecessor of obstructing the latest Senate border security and foreign aid bill, known as the “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act.”
“He’d rather weaponize this issue than actually solve it,” President Biden told reporters on Feb. 6.
Less than 24 hours after its release, Republicans in both the Senate and the House expressed opposition to the proposal, saying that its border provisions weren’t strong enough.
President Biden, however, continued to blame the former president for derailing the Senate agreement.
“They’re walking away at the last minute because Donald Trump called them and threatened them,” the president told his supporters on Feb. 7 during a campaign reception in New York.
“There is one existential threat, and it’s Donald Trump,” he said, adding that his predecessor would do anything to reverse his administration’s actions.
“So, that’s why I’m running, because we cannot let that happen.”