Interview transcript raises concerns over US president’s age and memory claims

New Delhi: The White House found itself facing a political challenge when a special counsel’s report last month raised questions about President Joe Biden’s memory. However, for Biden, this was more than just a political problem; This was a very personal insult.

Robert Hur, appointed to investigate whether Biden mishandled classified documents, said in his report that the president could not recall the date of his adult son Beau’s death during an interview with prosecutors. It was a shocking claim about a significant event in Biden’s life, raising concerns about his fitness for another term as the 81-year-old president, news agency Associated Press reported.

Biden’s response was swift and emotional. He expressed his anger during a press conference after the release of the report and questioned how Hur dared to raise such a sensitive issue.

“How dare he bring it up?” Biden said angrily. “To be honest, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself that it was no big deal for them.”

However, the reality of the situation is more nuanced than initially portrayed by Biden or Hurr. A transcript of the interview released ahead of Hur’s testimony on Capitol Hill revealed that Hur did not directly ask Biden about his son’s death. Instead, Biden himself raised it while discussing the storage of documents in a rental home in Virginia after leaving the vice president’s office, the AP reports.

Additionally, Biden recalled the specific date of Beau’s death during the interview, though with momentary uncertainty about the year. His exchange with Hur demonstrated how he reflected on the impact of his son’s death on his decision making over the years.

“What month did Beau die in?” Biden pondered. “Oh my God, May 30th.”

A White House lawyer interjected, “2015.”

“Did he die in 2015?” Biden asked. When someone responded in the affirmative, the President said, “I
It was 2015.”

Biden’s aides defended his emotional reaction during the press conference, attributing it to the internal nature of his emotions. The AP reports that he emphasized that his discussions with Hur underlined the importance of Beau’s death in shaping his actions.

The transcript offers new insight into one of the most sensitive episodes of Biden’s presidency. While the special counsel’s investigation did not result in criminal charges against Biden, the examination of his memory casts doubt on his ability to continue serving effectively as president.

Beau was Attorney General of Delaware when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Beau’s death came during Biden’s tenure as vice president. The deep grief Biden experienced played a significant role in his decision not to run for president in 2016, a race ultimately won by Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, the AP reports.