Behind the scenes, the White House reportedly pressured special counsel Robert Hur to take passages out of his report that discuss President Joe Biden’s memory and physical state, according to Politico.
Hur released his special counsel report Thursday which investigated Biden’s handling of classified documents though he declined to pursue criminal charges. The report notes that during an interview with the special counsel, Biden appeared to forget the timeline of his vice presidency and could not remember when his late son died. Ahead of the release of the report, the White House was reportedly in the dark about what the final copy would say but hoped their efforts to reach Hur ahead of its release would force edits, Politico reported. (RELATED: ‘It Practically Screams’: Calls To Invoke The 25th Erupt After Hur’s Damning Biden Report)
“Hur did not indicate whether he would make any changes,” a person familiar with the process told Politico.
The special counsel report repeatedly makes note of Biden’s poor memory, even going as far as to say that if the president were to appear before a jury, he would present himself as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
According to the special counsel, President Biden, 81, has a poor memory:
“He did not remember when he was vice president”
“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died”
“his memory appeared hazy” pic.twitter.com/5uyT7ZmGV8
— Chad Gilmartin (@ChadGilmartinCA) February 8, 2024
Following the release of the report, Biden’s lawyers bashed Hur’s comments about the president’s memory going as far as to say they were not “accurate or appropriate.”
“[Hur] uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events. Such comments have no place in a Department of Justice report, particularly one that in the first paragraph announces that no criminal charges are ‘warranted’ and that ‘the evidence does not establish Mr. Biden’s guilt,'” Biden’s lawyers wrote.
Biden tries cracking jokes when asked serious questions about his mental acuity.
DOOCY: “How bad is your memory and can you continue as president?”
BIDEN: “My memory is so bad I let you speak.” pic.twitter.com/9UYYOUIoz7
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 9, 2024
The 81-year-old faced the press after the report was released to dispel concerns about his age. But in the press conference, Biden blamed his staff for the classified documents debacle and then made several slip-ups reinforcing concerns about his memory.
“I take responsibility for not having seen exactly what my staff was doing,” he said.
“Things that appeared in my garage, things that came out of my home, things that were moved, were moved not by me, but my staff, but my staff,” Biden continued.
The president then mixed up two foreign presidents and forgot the name of a parish during the press conference meant to push back on Hur’s characterizations of Biden’s memory. (RELATED: Special Counsel Calls Biden ‘Well-Meaning Elderly Man With A Poor Memory’)
“In addition, I know there’s some attention paid to some language of the report about my recollection of events. There is even reference that I don’t remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question I thought to myself, ‘It wasn’t any of their damn business.’ Let me tell you something. Some of you have commented. I wear, since the day he died every single day, the rosary he got from our Lady of … ” Biden stated before going silent.
“Every memorial day we hold a service remembering him attended by friends and family and people who loved him. I don’t need anyone to remind me of when he passed away,” the president continued, pushing back on the note that he forgot his late son’s time of death.