CNN’s Phil Mattingly cut off Democratic New York Rep. Dan Goldman on Friday after he tried defending President Joe Biden’s memory gaffes.
Special Counsel Robert Hur declined to pursue criminal charges against Biden despite describing him as having willfully possessed classified information covering important national security matters, according to his report. Hur said Biden, if forced to sit trial, “would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Hur also said it would be “difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”
Goldman first argued the special counsel report was made up of “very, very flimsy evidence” and that Hur only included Biden’s memory gaffes to appease Republicans who would be angered that Biden did not get charged as former President Donald Trump did.
Mattingly then noted that the special counsel said Biden was a “well-meaning, elderly man, with poor memory.”
“They were trying to back up that statement in their decision, specifically the notebooks that he shared with the ghostwriter, why they believed they could not win in trial on the issue of willful retention and dissemination. You don’t think that backs that up?” Mattingly asked.
Goldman said the evidence used was gathered when Biden was a private citizen before criticizing the critiques of Biden’s memory.
“And the notion that his own credibility or recollection would have anything to do with the evidence, which was plainly insufficient, is a fallacy. And not only that, but you’re assuming that the defendant in this case would testify at trial. I was a prosecutor for 10 years. I did not consider the defendant’s credibility as a witness,” Goldman said. “I may have considered the defendant’s credibility in explaining the evidence and whether or not it would rise to the level of knowing intent. And so this was extremely gratuitous, unnecessary and it was just a political potshot in the middle of an election year when the special counsel knows that it’s two elderly men who are running for president, and this one who was appointed by Donald Trump wanted to make sure he got his licks in.”
“Do you think the president helped himself last night in his response?”
“I do. I think that the president standing out there, really powerfully explaining how absurd it is that there would be accusations that he would not remember when his son died, which was, you know, such a critical moment. And it was important, I think, for him to show, as he did in answering the question about the Middle East, how much of a grasp and how experienced and wise he is, especially right now on foreign policy issues,” Goldman argued.
“And I spoke to him on October 7th when I was in Israel a couple hours after the Hamas attack. That was the day before this interview began. And he demonstrated an unbelievable mastery of this entire region. He had already reached out to a number of different leaders. He understood all of the vortexes and all of the issues and tension points. This is someone whose age has a tremendous benefit in his experience and his understanding and his knowledge of foreign policy,” Goldman continued.
“Certainly and I think that was the message he was trying to get across –” Mattingly cut in. (RELATED: ‘Five-Alarm Fire’: CNN Panel Delivers Brutal Assessment Of Biden Press Conference On Special Counsel)
“He’s rallied allies in Europe against Ukraine and dealt with a difficult situation,” Goldman said as the two spoke over each other.
“What it also created though was a moment where he mixed up Mexico with Egypt, and to be clear, a couple of hours later, Donald Trump thought the leader of Hungary was actually the leader of Turkey … but it’s a moment and it’s a moment at a time where voters are concerned. I know the president pushed back on that. People get frustrated about that, but it’s just true.”
Goldman then tried to say other elected officials have memory problems, arguing that Speaker Mike Johnson confusing Iran and Israel is a “much more significant mistake than President el-Sisi as being in Mexico.”
“It’s wrong to think that because President Biden made a simple incidental mistake that everyone understood what he was referring to, that that has anything to do with his mental acuity,” Goldman continued. “And especially when you’re now trying to compare him to another elderly man who is charged with four indictments, who doesn’t believe that the law applies to him, and makes all these mistakes. Nancy Pelosi, Nikki Haley, you know, Donald Trump makes more mistakes on this stuff than Joe Biden does, and for some reason, the media doesn’t want to focus on that, but he is a danger to our country, Donald Trump, whereas Joe Biden has been a tremendous asset to our country as our leader.”
Biden tried to downplay the findings of the report in a surprise speech Thursday night in which he tried to address concerns about his memory. Biden said he keeps a rosary in memory of his son Beau before he appeared to forget the church parish it came from, resulting in just silence.
Biden asked if he was careless: “I take responsibility for not having seen exactly what my staff was doing.” pic.twitter.com/BOe6rLGYpg
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Biden then said that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the “president of Mexico.”
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