Photo: Evan Vucci Associated Press US President Joe Biden speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington on Thursday.
Charlotte Causit – Agence France-Presse in Washington
February 9, 2024
- United States
“Free” and “inappropriate” comments, “politically motivated”: Joe Biden's inner circle tried to counterattack on Friday after the devastating comments of a magistrate on the failing memory of the American president.
The most pugnacious reaction came from Vice President Kamala Harris who attacked the “political motivations” of Special Prosecutor Robert Hur.
The latter, in a 388-page investigation report made public Thursday, relating to a matter of confidential documents, described the 81-year-old Democrat as an “elderly man with a bad memory”.
Recalling that she herself was a California prosecutor, Kamala Harris asserted that these comments were “gratuitous, incorrect and inappropriate”.
“We should demand a higher level of moral integrity,” the vice president also said.
A White House spokesperson, Ian Sams, did not frankly contradict Kamala Harris, candidate with Joe Biden for a second term, on the question of political motive.
He suggested that the magistrate, a Republican, may have felt pressure leading him to go “beyond his duties” in writing his report, nine months before the presidential election.
And all the more so since the special prosecutor decided not to prosecute the Democratic president.
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Robert Hur was appointed in January 2023 to investigate the discovery of confidential documents dating from the time when Joe Biden was vice-president of Barack Obama (2009-2017) in his residence in Wilmington (Delaware ) as well as in an old office.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman, whose state will be decisive for the November election, denounced an operation led by a “Trump-appointed” prosecutor to “smear” Joe Biden.
Not all those close to the Democrat have ventured onto this politically slippery slope, while the former Republican president, indicted four times in criminal proceedings, continues to cry about the use of justice against him.< /p>
White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre chose the personal register: “I have known this president since 2009. He was not only my boss, but also my mentor. And no one in this building would tell you what we saw [in the special prosecutor's report] about his memory. »
Robert Hur wrote that a jury would give the benefit of the doubt to “a sympathetic, well-intentioned elderly man with a poor memory.”
He also assured that the president, during an interrogation, no longer remembered exactly the year of the death of his eldest son Beau.
“How the hell dare he ?”, retorted Thursday evening Joe Biden, for whom this is an extremely painful subject, during a televised speech.
“I mean well, I’m an old man and I know what I’m doing, dammit. I don’t have memory problems,” he tried to defend himself, barely containing his frustration.
But this hastily organized intervention did not convince everyone.
“That’s not the way to do it,” commented Democratic elected official Adam Smith. “He was angry, there was no clear intention, it didn’t go well. »
To make matters worse, Joe Biden made one of his usual blunders on Thursday evening. When asked about the situation in the Gaza Strip, he referred to “Mexico's President, Sissi,” when he meant the Egyptian head of state, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.
Blessed bread for Donald Trump, 77, who will in all likelihood face Joe Biden again in November, and who has been attacking him for a long time on the grounds of mental and physical vigor.
Friday evening, in front of a crowd of members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun lobby in Pennsylvania, the former Republican president said about his Democratic successor in the White House: “I don't think he knows he's alive. »
The tycoon and tribune also published on his Truth Social network a false map of the Middle East, on which the name of Mexico replaces that of Egypt. At the bottom of the infographic is this: “Source: Joe Biden.”
In January, Donald Trump, who also has moments of confusion, without this causing as much debate as the age of his rival, published a mocking campaign clip, based on unfavorable images of his rival.
The video depicts the White House as a comfortable “retirement home” where “residents feel like presidents.”