President Joe Biden responded to allegations that he had a failing memory by holding a press conference Thursday, which included him confusing Egypt for Mexico. Biden’s press event occurred after the release of the report of special counsel Robert Hur regarding his retention of sensitive documents, in which Hur listed a number of significant memory issues displayed by the president.
During the Thursday press conference, the president appeared to be tired and had trouble pronouncing some words. Biden said that he had no issues with his memory and sparred with reporters.
Toward the end of the event, the president started to leave the podium. However, following a question from a reporter, he returned back to talk about the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
During his response, Biden said that he helped broker a deal with Egypt. However, Biden confused Egypt with Mexico. This also followed several instances in the last week that he spoke with several European leaders following their deaths.
Biden: "I did not share classified information with my ghostwriter. I did not. Guarantee you did not."
The Special Counsel report stated Biden's "disclosure of classified information from his notebooks to his ghostwriter, risked serious damage to America's national security." pic.twitter.com/zcYLFVHleP
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 9, 2024
Hur ultimately did not recommend charges related to documents found in Biden’s personal possession.
In part, the special counsel said that Biden had trouble remembering several key parts of his life, including when he was vice president. In addition, Biden apparently could not remember when his son, Beau Biden, died.
During the press conference, Biden said that he did remember when his son died.
In discussing the decision not to press charges, Hur wrote that “Mr. Biden 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.”
The report and Biden’s press conference led to considerable criticism of the president, including some calls to invoke the 25th Amendment. The amendment passed after the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, allows the Cabinet to pass the president’s powers to the vice president in cases where the president is deemed to be unable to govern.