Biden says his memory is ‘fine,’ he is ‘most qualified person in this country’ to be president
President Biden addressed the nation Thursday night, saying his memory is ‘fine’ and defended his re-election campaign, saying he is the ‘most qualified person in this country to be president.’
Biden’s address to the nation from the White House Thursday night comes just hours after Special Counsel Robert Hur released his report, which did not recommend criminal charges against the president for mishandling classified documents. Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other records related to national security and foreign policy which Hur said implicated ‘sensitive intelligence sources and methods.’
Hur, though, described Biden as a ‘sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.’ Hur, throughout the more than 300-page report, said ‘it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him’ of a serious felony ‘that requires a mental state of willfulness,’ and said he would be ‘well into his eighties.’
Biden, on Thursday night, said he agreed.
‘I’m well-meaning, and I’m an elderly man and I know what the hell I’m doing,’ Biden said. ‘I’ve been president. I put this country back on its feet. I don’t need his recommendation.’
Biden added: ‘My memory is fine.’
During his address, Biden also fired back at Special Counsel Robert Hur for suggesting he did not remember when his son Beau died.
‘How dare he raise that?’ Biden said. ‘Frankly, when I was asked a question, I thought to myself, what’s that any of your damn business?’
‘Let me tell you something…I swear, since the day he died, every single day…I wear the rosary he got from Our Lady—’ Biden stopped, seemingly forgetting where the rosary was from.
Biden became visibly emotional, and declared: ‘I don’t need anyone—I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away or passed away.’
Moments later, though, Biden transitioned to discuss the conflict in the Middle East. Biden referred to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the president of Egypt, as ‘the president of Mexico.’
But the president took a barrage of questions from the White House press corps, with some shouting and pressing him on whether he is fit to run for re-election.
‘I’m the most qualified person in this country to be president of the United States,’ Biden said, adding that he has to ‘finish the job I started.’
Meanwhile, Hur, in the report, said Biden, during his interview with the special counsel’s team, could not remember key details, such as when he was vice president.
‘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.’
‘In a case where the government must prove that Mr. Biden knew he had possession of the classified Afghanistan documents after the vice presidency and chose to keep those documents, knowing he was violating the law, we expect that at trial, his attorneys would emphasize these limitations in his recall,’ the report said.
As for Biden’s memory, prior to the release of the report, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday defended Biden when asked about a gaffe in which the president said he spoke in 2021 with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl — who actually died four years earlier — arguing that misspeaking ‘happens to all of us, and it is common.’
That gaffe was similar to the one Biden made on Sunday when he claimed he spoke with François Mitterrand, a French president who died in 1996, at the same G7 meeting.
But Hur also said his investigation ‘uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.’
The materials included ‘marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and notebooks containing Mr. Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.’
Hur said FBI agents recovered the materials from ‘the garages, offices, and basement den in Mr. Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home.’
But Biden fired back, citing sections in the report that stated he did not willfully retain the documents. Biden also said he was ‘especially pleased to see special counsel make clear the stark distinction in difference between this case and Mr. Trump’s case,’ saying he cooperated and sat for a five hour-long interview.
Trump, on the other hand, was charged out of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation related to his retention of classified materials. Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony charges out of Smith’s probe. The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
Trump, the 2024 GOP front-runner, was then charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment out of Smith’s investigation — an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts. Trump pleaded not guilty.
That trial is set to begin on May 20.
‘They should immediately drop the case against me,’ Trump told Fox News Digital on Thursday. ‘I am covered by the Presidential Records Act — he wasn’t. He had many, many times more documents — totally unguarded. Mine were always surrounded by Secret Service and in locked rooms.’
‘Deranged Jack Smith should drop the case immediately against us.’
Trump added: ‘It is election interference…. I did absolutely nothing wrong.’