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Biden rejects claims he’s mentally unfit to be president

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the Special Counsel report in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 8, 2024, in a surprise last-minute addition to his schedule for the day. A long-awaited report cleared President Joe Biden of any wrongdoing in his mishandling of classified documents in his home and other locations February 8, but dropped a political bombshell by painting the Democrat as a 'well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.' The report removed a legal cloud hanging over Biden as he seeks reelection in a contest expected to be against former President Donald Trump.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the Special Counsel report in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 8, 2024, in a surprise last-minute addition to his schedule for the day. A long-awaited report cleared President Joe Biden of any wrongdoing in his mishandling of classified documents in his home and other locations February 8, but dropped a political bombshell by painting the Democrat as a "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory." The report removed a legal cloud hanging over Biden as he seeks reelection in a contest expected to be against former President Donald Trump. | MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden lashed out during a press conference he called Thursday night in response to a special counsel report on the criminal investigation into his handling of classified documents that indicated the commander-in-chief was suffering from memory loss.

On Thursday, a report by special counsel Robert Hur concluded that while Biden mishandled classified documents, there was not enough evidence to sufficiently establish guilt.

“Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen,” stated the report, but added that the evidence “does not establish Mr. Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Hur’s report also stated that if Biden was brought to trial on charges related to the investigation, he could likely get off by portraying himself as an "elderly man with a poor memory."

In a speech during the press conference he called at the last minute Thursday evening, Biden stressed that he fully cooperated with the special counsel and was pleased that the report acknowledged his cooperation with the investigation.

Biden then addressed questions about “my recollection of events,” which have been used to further the claims that the 81-year-old president is not mentally fit to remain in office.

When noting that the report indicated that the president had failed to recall when his son, Beau, had died, Biden declared, “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,’” Biden added, noting that, since his son had died, he wears a rosary he once owned.

Although, when explaining where his son got the rosary, Biden said it came from “Our Lady of …” and then did not finish the name of the place where the Catholic prayer item was from.  

Biden went on to say that the memory loss comments were “extraneous commentary” that “has no place in this report,” declaring that “the matter is now closed.”

When asked by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy how bad his memory was, Biden quipped, “My memory is so bad I let you speak.” He then told another reporter, “my memory is fine.”

However, when answering a question about the Israel-Hamas war, Biden mistakenly referred to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt as the president of Mexico. Biden said “the president of Mexico, El-Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in” to aid people in Gaza. 

The president also criticized Israel's response to Hamas in Gaza, calling it "over the top." 

Biden is the oldest American to serve as president of the United States, having broken the record by Ronald Reagan, who was 77 when he left office after his second term. 

Last September, a poll released by NBC News found that 74% of surveyed respondents considered the age of Biden to be either a "major" concern or a "moderate" concern for them.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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