In a passionate address from the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room, President Joe Biden fiercely defended his cognitive abilities and sharply criticized Special Counsel Robert Hur's report, which questioned his recollection of key personal events.
The president's response came after a report on his handling of classified documents suggested his memory lapses could evoke jury sympathy. Expressing indignation, President Biden questioned the special counsel's audacity to mention his late son, Beau Biden, in the report.
"I don't need anyone to remind me when he passed away. How the hell dare he raise that," Biden remarked, visibly frustrated. He further added, "When asked about it, I wondered, was it any of their damn business?" The president emphasized his mental sharpness and denied any legal wrongdoing in his handling of classified documents from his vice-presidential tenure.
"I've seen headlines about my willful retention of documents. This is not just misleading, it's plain wrong," he stated, insisting his memory is "fine."
Biden's Memory Controversy
His comments followed the release of the special counsel's report, which concluded no criminal charges were warranted.
The report, however, controversially noted that a jury might sympathize with Biden's purported memory issues. This angle has drawn significant attention, with some viewing it as a veiled critique of Biden's fitness for office.
Biden, who attended a retreat with House Democrats earlier, claimed exoneration but was reportedly privately infuriated by the Hur report. Inside the White House, officials expressed frustration, believing Hur exceeded his mandate with comments on Biden's memory.
Comparisons were drawn to former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server during the 2016 campaign, where he publicly criticized her actions despite clearing her of legal wrongdoing.
In a rare public display of anger, Biden criticized the media for perpetuating narratives about his mental fitness. He dismissed suggestions of stepping down as the Democratic frontrunner for the next presidential race against Donald Trump, asserting his qualifications for the presidency.