Feb 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"My memory is fine": Angry Biden fires back after special counsel report

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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden fired back forcefully during remarks on Thursday against assertions made by a special counsel over his mental acuity and handling of classified documents.

Why it matters: Biden's surprise remarks came hours after Hur released a report saying he would not pursue charges over the president's handling of classified documents.

  • "I've been president and I put this country back on its feet, I don't need his recommendation," Biden said, referring to Special Counsel Robert Hur.
  • "I'm well meaning, and I'm an elderly man, and I know what the hell I'm doing," Biden said in response to a question from a reporter.
  • Republicans, including former President Trump, seized on the report and argued that it is an example of the "two-tiered" system of justice.

Zoom in: Hur described Biden as an "elderly man with a poor memory."

  • "My memory is fine," Biden told reporters on Thursday.
  • The report said that Biden "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen."

Biden said he took responsibility for "not having seen exactly" what his staff was doing when they were handling the classified documents.

  • "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."

Zoom out: The president also grew emotional when discussing a line in Hur's report that said Biden did not remember when his son Beau died.

  • "There's 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."

The bottom line: Biden mixed up the presidents of Mexico and Egypt as he answered a question about the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, which borders Egypt.

  • "I think as you know initially, the president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate," Biden said.
  • Andrés Manuel López Obrador is president of Mexico.
  • Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is president of Egypt.

Go deeper: Special counsel report sends shockwaves through Congress

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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