President Joe Biden confused Libya and Syria three times during a Sunday press conference at the G-7 Summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom.
The president was responding to a question from NBC News’ Peter Alexander about what actions the administration plans to take against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden talked about Russia’s ongoing military actions in Syria, but three times mistakenly confused the country with Libya.
“There is no guarantee you can change a person’s behavior or the behavior of their country. Autocrats have enormous power and they do not have to answer to a public,” Biden began. “The fact is that it may very well be if I respond in kind, which I will, that it does not dissuade him. He wants to keep going. But I think we’re gonna be moving in a direction where Russia has its own dilemmas, let us say, in dealing with its economy, dealing with — COVID, and dealing with, not only the United States, but Europe writ large and the Middle East.”
“There is a lot going on where we can work together with Russia. For example, in Libya, we should be opening up the passes to be able to go through and provide — food assistance — an economic, I mean — vital assistance to a population that is in real trouble. I think I’m gonna very hard — by the way there’s places where — I should not be starting off by negotiating in public here, but let me say it this way — Russia has engaged in activities which we believe are contrary to international norms,” he continued.
“They have also bitten off some real problems they’re gonna have trouble chewing on. For example, the rebuilding of Syria, of Libya — you know, this is — they’re there and as long as they’re there without the ability to bring about some order in the region, you can’t do that very well without providing or the basic economic needs of people, so I am hopeful that we can find accommodation where we can save the lives of people in, for example, in Libya consistent with the interests of — may be far different reasons — but for the same reasons,” the president concluded. (RELATED: ‘Follow The CCD Guidelines’ And ‘Visit Vaccines.Gum’: President Biden Gaffes His Way Through Press Conference)
The clip was widely shared on Twitter with President Biden’s critics commenting on his longtime tendency to gaffe, and questioning the state of his cognitive abilities, which has been under scrutiny since he launched his campaign for president.
This is horrible. At some point his cognitive disfunction has to be considered a natl security threat if only because of the confidence it must give our enemies “President confuses Syria with Libya three times”
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) June 13, 2021
Biden’s appearance at the G-7 Summit is his first overseas trip as president of the United States.