First Lady Jill Biden lashed out at special counsel Robert Hur over his scathing report that raised alarming questions about her husband’s advanced age and mental acuity.
While Hur cleared President Biden of any charges related to classified documents found at his Delaware home, he also flagged multiple instances of the commander-in-chief being forgetful, describing him as a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”
His 388-page report posited that the president couldn’t remember the exact or even approximate date when his late son Beau Biden died or even when his vice presidency ended during an extended interview with prosecutors.
“I hope you can imagine how it felt to read that attack — not just as Joe’s wife, but as Beau’s mother,” Jill Biden bemoaned in an email to her backers over the weekend.
“I don’t know what this Special Counsel was trying to achieve. We should give everyone grace, and I can’t imagine someone would try to use our son’s death to score political points.”
Hur, a Trump appointee and former US Attorney for the District of Maryland, was named special counsel in January of 2023 to oversee the Justice Department probe of Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.
His report claimed that Biden “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.” Beau Biden died from brain cancer in 2015 — and the president has frequently recounted the anguish he went through during that time.
“If you’ve experienced a loss like that, you know that you don’t measure it in years — you measure it in grief. May 30th is a day forever etched on our hearts. It shattered me, it shattered our family,” Jill Biden rebutted.
“How the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damned business,” President Biden fumed in an animated press conference last Thursday.
At 81, Biden is already the oldest US president ever.
Should he win and serve out a second hypothetical term in office, Biden would be 86 by its conclusion.
Hur’s damning report poured fuel on the firestorm of speculation surrounding his age, even as he looks poised to once again face off against Donald Trump, who is only three and a half years younger.
The special counsel claimed that Biden “did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’)”
White House officials have bristled at and cast doubt on some of those claims from Hur while grumbling that they weren’t pertinent to his investigation in the first place.
While passionately rebutting the age portions in the Hur report in a fiery press conference, Biden had another lapse, accidentally referring to the misidentifying Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.”
Republicans seized on the development, with some such as Rep. Claudia Tenney suggesting the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment and oust him from office on the basis that he lacked the capacity to serve.
The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a president in the event of an incapacitation in some form.
“Joe is 81, that’s true, but he’s 81 doing more in an hour than most people do in a day,” the first lady added. “His age, with his experience and expertise, is an incredible asset and he proves it every day.”
Biden allies then quickly latched onto former President Donald Trump’s rally in South Carolina Saturday, where he said he would encourage Russia to attack NATO allies that don’t pay their dues, and wondered why his former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s deployed husband was absent from the campaign trail.
On Saturday, famed Democratic political strategist James Carville raised concerns about Biden skipping a Super Bowl Sunday interview for the second year straight.
“It’s the biggest television audience, not even close, and you get a chance to do a 20-, 25-minute interview on that day,” Carville told CNN’s “Smerconish” Saturday.
“And you don’t do it? That’s a kind of sign that the staff or yourself doesn’t have much confidence in you,” Carville went on. “There’s no other way to read this.”
The Super Bowl Sunday interview with the commander-in-chief was started by former President Barack Obama in 2009. Last year, the Super Bowl drew 115 million views.
“And he’s not going to do debates,” Carville later added. “He is old, I know what it is because I’m almost as old as he is, and it’s never going to get better.”
White House officials countered that Americans are eager to watch the San Francisco 49ers square off with the Kansas City Chiefs, rather than think about politics.
A news ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 86% of Americans think Biden is too old to serve a second term.