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Emotional US President Joe Biden defends his ‘memory’ in surprise speech: ‘…when my son died’


US President Joe Biden on Thursday defended his mental competence while lashing out at comments in a special counsel’s report investigating his possession of classified documents. The report described the 81-year-old Democrat’s memory as “hazy,” “fuzzy,” “faulty,” “poor” and having “significant limitations”. It noted that Jo Biden could not recall defining milestones in his own life such as when his son Beau died or when he served as vice president.

US President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks at the White House in Washington on February 8. (REUTERS)
US President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks at the White House in Washington on February 8. (REUTERS)

An angry, emotional Joe Biden, in a rare evening address to Americans from the White House, said he was furious over the report’s claim that he was unable to remember even the date of his son Beau’s death in 2015, as well as other key moments in his life. “My memory is fine,” the US president said.

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“There’s even a reference that I don’t remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that?” Joe Biden said, visibly fighting to rein in his emotions.

Counsel’s report clears Joe Biden of any wrongdoing

The report from special counsel Robert Hur. however, should have been good news for Joe Biden. The report cleared the American president of any criminal wrongdoing in his storing of the classified documents, which he had used while vice president under Barack Obama, at his private home and a former office.

This stands in sharp contrast with a separate criminal investigation into Joe Biden’s likely November presidential rival Donald Trump, who is accused of taking vast quantities of top-secret documents after leaving the White House in 2021, then obstructing attempts to get them back.

However, Hur unleashed a political bombshell, just nine months from the election, by saying the 81-year-old Democrat came across as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”.

Given Joe Biden’s reduced mental acuity, Hur said, a jury would not in any case have found him guilty on documents charges.

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