Joe Biden: This is what the report says about the US President’s mental state

Special Investigator
This is what the report on Joe Biden’s mental state says

Distracted, but not too much: US President Joe Biden

© Leigh Vogel/CNP/ZUMA Press Wire / Action Press

In the so-called document affair, Joe Biden was exonerated in an investigation report – and at the same time portrayed as a slightly senile man. Now the entire conversation has been published: The report casts a milder light on the US President.

It was a short, clear sentence that aptly and uncharacteristically summarized a 388-page report monster: “He is a likeable, well-meaning, older man with a bad memory.” Robert Hur wrote this about US President Joe Biden in February after the special investigator questioned the 81-year-old for two days about the “document affair”. Hur actually wanted to know what exactly were state secrets doing in a garage next to Binden’s 1967 Corvette Stingray.

Read more about Joe Biden’s “Garage Gate” here

Joe Biden did not act out of malice

The US President’s entire response, recorded on almost 400 pages, can be read. The US Department of Justice has now released the transcript. “The president doesn’t seem as distracted as Hur made him out to be – and Hur doesn’t seem as crass as Biden made him out to be,” writes the Washington Post, who evaluated the report. The irony of the investigation: The special investigator couldn’t prove Joe Biden had committed any wrongdoing, but still slammed him. There is no malicious intent behind the carelessly handled documents, just forgetfulness.

Joe Biden reacted with outrage: “I know what the hell I’m doing. I’m president and I got this country back on its feet,” he said angrily to journalists shortly after the report was presented. Since this appearance, things have calmed down somewhat, and the US President is now simply turning the tables and joking about his age in election campaign appearances. He apparently also felt like joking when questioned by Robert Hur: “The FBI knows my house better than I do,” he said about the search by the US Federal Police. And: “I hope you didn’t find any raunchy pictures of my wife in a swimsuit.”

Can someone like that decide on the use of nuclear weapons?

However, he was unable to answer the actual question of why Biden took secret government documents home with him during his time as US Vice President. He simply doesn’t know how his employees handled classified information and how it ultimately ended up in his garage. And if he ever knew it, he forgot it. However, Biden attached importance to the fact that he never intentionally kept secret documents after leaving office.

The interview with the head of the White House was also troubling because Biden couldn’t even remember any drastic personal blows of fate. Like the death of his son Beau in 2015 when he ruled the country alongside Barack Obama. Can, should, should someone like that rule a country like the USA? Command one of the largest armies in the world? Decide on the use of nuclear weapons?

A man with quirks typical of his age

However, it is clear from the transcript of the conversation that Biden’s memory is not nearly as clouded as it first appears. “What month did Beau die?” asks Robert Hur. The answer: “Oh God, May 30th.” The head of state only named the year after being informed by those present. At the time, Biden said, his son was dying and he was also struggling to enter the race for the US presidency. Ultimately, a year later, Hillary Clinton ran for the Democrats.

Robert Hur’s report paints a picture of a man who exhibits quirks typical of his age: such as excessive narratives and numerous political assessments that have nothing to do with the topic. Biden has apparently often tried to talk to the special investigator. The US President once took ten minutes just to talk about the passage of the law against violence against women or about his first job after law school.

“Photographic understanding of his house”

A quote from the “New York Times” about the published report suggests that, despite his gaps in memory and public misfires, the condition of the 81-year-old head of the White House is not quite so terrible: “As Mr. Biden, a detailed description of the floor plan of his Delaware home, Mr. Hur noted that Mr. Biden appeared to have “a photographic understanding of his home.”

Sources: “Washington Post”, CNNNew York Times“, NPRDPA, AFP, Reuters

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