During Monday’s White House press conference, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden will not be taking a cognitive test as part of his upcoming physical exam, coming as questions are raised on Biden’s mental fitness.
Jean-Pierre said that Dr. Kevin O’Conner, Biden’s physician, does not believe a cognitive test is necessary, adding that O’Conner believes Biden has proven his cognitive ability "every day in how he operates and how he thinks."
"Does the White House think that the idea of the president taking a cognitive test as a part of this physical is a legitimate idea?" one reporter asked.
"I'm just gonna say what Dr. O'Connor said to me about a year ago when [Biden's physical] was released," Jean-Pierre said. "The president proves every day in how he operates and how he thinks, by dealing with world leaders, by making difficult decisions on behalf of the American people – whether it's domestic or it's national security."
"That is how Dr. O'Connor sees it, and that is how I'm going to leave it," she added.
Jean-Pierre said that Biden has traveled across the country and met with world leaders in recent months and that she herself has spent "countless hours" with Biden, and he is "sharp, he’s engaged," and "on top of things."
"When we have meetings with him and his staff he is constantly pushing us, trying to get more information, and so that has been my experience with this president," she said.
Biden’s mental fitness has been called into question after the release of special counsel Robert Hur’s report, which stated that "Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen."
The report added that Biden’s memory was significantly limited” during his 2023 interviews with the special counsel.
"We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory," the report from Hur stated. "Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."
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