President Biden lashed out at reporters following an address where he remained defiant following the release of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s damning report that fueled more questions about his mental acuity.
At a last-minute White House press conference held Thursday night, Biden went off script and took questions from reporters at random instead of having a list of reporters pre-selected by staff like he often does.
White House correspondent Peter Doocy was the first to catch Biden’s attention.
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“Something the special counsel said in his report is that one of the reasons you were not charged is because, in his description, you are a ‘well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,'” Doocy said.
“I’m well-meaning and I’m an elderly man and I know what the hell I’m doing,” Biden responded. “I’ve been president and I put this country back on its feet. I don’t need his recommendation-“
“How bad is your memory? And can you continue as president?” Doocy asked.
“My memory is so bad I let you speak,” Biden shot back.
Biden has a history of clashing with reporters, including calling Doocy “a stupid son of a b—-” in 2021 for his question about inflation. He later called him to clear the air.
Washington Post reporter Tyler Pager asked Biden whether he was concerned that the report would “fuel further concern about your age,” to which Biden swiped, “Only by some of you.”
Biden later got into a combative exchange with CNN correspondent MJ Lee, who pressed him on his previous comments urging Americans to “watch me” when he’s asked about his age.
“Many [of the] American people have been watching, and they have expressed concerns about your age,” Lee said.
“That is your judgment!” Biden shouted at her. “That is your judgment! That is not the judgment of the press.”
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“They’ve expressed concerns about your mental acuity,” Lee continued. “They say that you’re too old. Mr. President, you told me in December that you believe there are many Democrats who could defeat Donald Trump. So why does it have to be you now?”
“Because I’m the most qualified person in this country to be President of the United States and finish the job I started,” Biden responded.
Biden also clashed with NBC News correspondent Gabe Gutierrez, who attempted to press him on whether Biden had shared classified information with his ghostwriter.
“I did not share classified information… I guarantee you,” Biden exclaimed.
As Gutierrez attempted to follow up, Biden then shouted, “Let me answer your question!”
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“The fact of the matter is, is what I didn’t want repeated- I didn’t want him to not- I didn’t read it to him… I had written a long memorandum to President Obama why we should not be in Afghanistan. And it was multiple pages,” Biden said. “And so, while I was referring to- I said classified, I should have said, it should be private because it was a contact between the president and vice president as to what was going on. That’s what he was referring to. It was not classified information in that document. That was not classified.”
However, Hur’s report contradicts Biden’s claim, stating the president “shared information, including some classified information, from those notebooks with his ghostwriter.”
Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents, concluded he would not bring charges against him in part because a jury would find him to be a “sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory,” despite the acknowledgment that the documents were “willfully” obtained by Biden both as vice president and as a senator.
However, Hur’s report revealed Biden had a “hazy” memory about when he was previously in office and when his son Beau died.
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“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” the report states. “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’).”
“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died,” the report continued. “And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him. Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”
These revelations, in addition to his recent slew of gaffes, continue to fuel concerns among voters that 81-year-old Biden is too old to seek a second term, which polls have repeatedly shown.