Biden Forcefully Defends Himself Following Memory Loss Accusations
By Jason Hall
February 9, 2024
President Joe Biden forcefully defended himself against allegations of memory loss stemming from special counsel Robert Hur's report on his handling of classified information while speaking to reporters from the White House Thursday (February 8) night.
Hur described Biden's memory as being "significantly limited, both during his recorded interviews with the ghostwriter in 2017, and in his interview with our office in 2023," specifically claiming that the president did not remember when his son, Beau, died of brain cancer.
"How in the hell dare he raise that?" Biden said via NBC News, adding that he thought it "wasn't any of their damn business" when asked about Beau's 2015 death during the probe.
"I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away," Biden said Thursday night, acknowledging that he wears rosary beads and honors his late son during a service every Memorial Day. The president has also commonly referenced his late son in prior speeches, specifically in relation to loss and grief.
"My memory’s fine," Biden added in response to a reporter.
The president did, however, go on to mistakenly refer to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as the president of Mexico while addressing the Israel-Hamas war, which was the third mix up of world leaders this week. Biden had previously referred to former German Chancellor Angela Merkel as late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl while detailing his 2021 conversation with Merkel at a campaign event after previously confusing French President Emmanuel Macron with former French President François Mitterrand, who died in 1996.
Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, has also had public slip-ups when referencing other politicians, which included referencing former ally turned Republican rival Nikki Haley when he appeared to mean Rep. Nancy Pelosi in reference to her role in leading Congress during the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol carried out by his supporters.