US President Joe Biden made another embarrassing gaffe during a speech in which he defended his mental ability following a damning special counsel report.
The release of the investigation into his handling of documents after his spell as vice president has turned into a political disaster, despite saying criminal charges were not warranted.
Robert K Hur – who was appointed special counsel for the case after classified files were discovered in a Washington office space – said the president was a ‘well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory’ in his conclusion.
His assessment also describes the 81-year-old’s memory as ‘hazy,’ ‘fuzzy,’ ‘faulty,’ and having ‘significant limitations’, saying he could not recall defining milestones in his own life.
The descriptions have lent weight to a narrative which the president’s team is desperate to shake: that he lacks the mental ability for another four years as commander-in-chief.
But during a retaliatory speech where he angrily denied any struggles with his memory, Mr Biden made another error.
While speaking about the war in Gaza, he referred to Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as ‘the president of Mexico’.
The president grew visibly angry while pushing back on descriptions of his cognitive abilities (Picture: AP)
Addressing the room, he said: ‘I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip, has been over the top.
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‘I think that initially the president of Mexico, El-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.’
The latest gaffe comes days after Mr Biden mistakenly called French President Emmanuel Macron ‘Mitterand’, appearing to confuse him with the long-serving former holder of the same office who has been dead since 1996.
Biden said he had convinced Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to allow aid into Gaza (Picture: Via Reuters)
In his speech at the White House last night, he grew visibly angry when talking about a section in the report which asserts he could not remember when his son Beau died during an interview with FBI investigators.
‘How in the hell dare he raise that?’ he said.
‘Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, it wasn’t any of their damn business.’
‘Every Memorial Day we hold a service remember him, attended by friends and family and people who loved him. I don’t need anyone, I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away.’
Mr Biden went on to describe himself as ‘the most qualified person in this country to be president’.
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