fbpx
Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Biden to Nation: No Problems Here!

State of the Union: The president claimed vindication from the DOJ investigation into his handling of classified materials and defied skeptics of his mental acuity.
US-POLITICS-BIDEN

During a surprise White House press conference Thursday night, President Biden claimed vindication from the special counsel report on his handling of classified information, which had been published earlier in the day.

The president highlighted his cooperation with Robert Hur’s Department of Justice investigation into boxes of classified materials from Biden’s vice presidential years that ended up in his Wilmington, Delaware garage. Biden particularly emphasized his voluntary five hours of interview with Hur’s team on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9, immediately following the outbreak of the Gaza–Israel war. 

Advertisement

“It was in the middle of handling an international crisis,” he noted, apparently implying that the special counsel’s comments about his memory were in part attributable to his preoccupation at the time.

He vociferously denied any lack of mental acuity or mnemonic clarity, both in his prepared address and in his answers to reporters’ questions during the 12-minute presser, expressing particular anger at the special counsel’s statement that he could not remember the date of his son Beau’s death.

“I wear, since the day [Beau] died, every single day, a rosary he got from Our Lady of—” Biden said, gesturing without finishing the sentence.

Following questions, he took the opportunity to discuss the ongoing war in Gaza and his negotiations in the Middle East.

“The conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza strip, has been over the top,” he said. “I am pushing very hard now to push this hostage ceasefire. You know, I’ve been working tirelessly on this deal—how can I say this without revealing—to lean to a sustained pause to the actions taking place in the  Gaza strip, because I think if we could get that delay, that initial delay, I think that we would be able to extend tha so that we could increase the prospect that this fighting in Gaza changes.”

Despite his efforts to project vigor and clarity, Biden made a couple of his characteristic verbal blunders, notably denying that he shared classified information—the special counsel report explicitly confirms such sharing—and referring to Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi as the president of Mexico.