Following the release of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into classified documents related to President Joe Biden, which portrayed the president as an “elderly man with a poor memory,” allies of Biden took to Sunday morning talk shows to counteract the report’s implications. Mitch Landrieu, Biden campaign co-chair, and Robert Bauer, Biden’s personal attorney, were among those defending the president’s mental acuity, labeling criticisms as unfounded and attacking the integrity of Hur’s findings.
The report, which concluded without recommending criminal charges against Biden for the possession of classified documents post-vice presidency, nevertheless drew attention to Biden’s memory, describing it as “hazy” and “fuzzy.” Despite these descriptions, Landrieu and Bauer praised Biden’s intellectual sharpness and readiness for the presidency, disputing the report’s narrative.
Bauer criticized the report on CBS’s “Face the Nation” for its “shoddy” craftsmanship and “factual misstatements,” highlighting the White House counsel’s office’s requests to Hur for revisions. Despite the criticisms, the report’s conclusion noted that even without DOJ policy preventing charges against a sitting president, no criminal charges would be warranted.
During a press conference, President Biden, who is the oldest U.S. president in history, responded to questions about his mental clarity and memory, inadvertently referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.” This incident, among others, fueled discussions and criticisms regarding his capability to serve, with some calling for the invocation of the 25th Amendment.
Landrieu, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” emphasized Biden’s competency and robust engagement with policy and infrastructure projects, arguing against the report’s portrayal of Biden’s mental capacity. Similarly, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, also appearing on “Meet the Press,” commended Biden’s sharpness and attention to detail, reinforcing the administration’s stance against the consideration of the 25th Amendment.
The White House countered the report’s fallout with a memo underscoring Biden’s achievements and leadership qualities, aiming to solidify his image as a successful and mentally capable president. This defense blitz reflects the administration’s efforts to navigate the political and public relations challenges posed by the Hur report’s revelations and subsequent public scrutiny.