'How the hell dare he?': Biden defends memory after special counsel report | Politics News


The US president says his memory is “fine” after a special counsel report said he did not remember the year his son died.

US President Joe Biden defended his memory after a special counsel report into his handling of classified documents renewed scrutiny over his suitability for office ahead of November's presidential election.

In emotional and sometimes angry comments, Biden took aim at special counsel Robert Hur for finding that his memory was so “severely limited” when interviewed by prosecutors that he could not remember the year he began serving as vice president under President Barack Obama or the year his son Beau died.

“There are even references that I don't remember when my son died,” Biden said during a White House news conference on Thursday. “How the hell dare you bring that up?”

“I don't need anyone to remind me when he passed away,” Biden said of his son, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

Biden, who is the oldest US president in history and would be 86 at the end of a second term if re-elected, said his memory is “fine” and “hasn't gotten worse.”

Biden, who is expected to face former President Donald Trump in November, said he had spent hours of interviews with prosecutors in the immediate aftermath of the “international crisis” sparked by the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

He also disputed some of Hur's claims about his culpability in mishandling confidential documents, denying that he had shared classified information with his ghostwriter.

Hur's report released Thursday said Biden would not face criminal charges for removing classified documents at the end of Obama's presidency because he had cooperated with investigators and would appear sympathetic to a jury.

“Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview, as a sympathetic, well-intentioned old man with a bad memory,” Hur wrote in his report.

Hur, a former federal prosecutor during the Trump administration, was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Biden's handling of classified material after the discovery of confidential documents in his private office in Washington, DC.

Subsequent searches at his home in Delaware and at the University of Delaware revealed more confidential documents that had been improperly removed.

Biden's age has become a serious concern for American voters and Democratic Party officials, who have mostly shared their qualms in private discussions with colleagues and journalists.

In a poll published by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research last year, 77 percent of respondents, including 69 percent of Democrats, said Biden is too old to govern until 2028.

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, said Biden's news conference after the special counsel's report showed he is “unfit” to be president.

Biden has made a series of gaffes in recent days that have once again focused attention on his age and mental acuity.

On Wednesday, Biden appeared to confuse former German chancellors Angela Merkel and Helmut Kohl when he said at a campaign event that he met Kohl at a G7 meeting in 2021, four years after Kohl's death.

The confusion came days after Biden recalled speaking to French President Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996, at the same G7 event, instead of current leader Emmanuel Macron.

During his remarks defending his memory on Thursday, Biden also referred to Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.”

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