At the outset of his remarks, Biden praised his own government for not bringing charges against him. Then he took issue with the comments made in the 380-page report from the Special Counsel Hur. He claimed that the questions he had trouble answering were due to the international events at the time, namely the new conflict in Israel, which began with a massacre on October 7 carried out by Hamas.
After getting through his remarks on the teleprompter, including reading "end of quote," he took journalists' questions. He blamed his staff for the boxes of classified documents in his garage, saying "I take responsibility for not having seen exactly what my staff was doing. Boxes going in and out. Things that appeared in my garage things that came out of my home. Things that were removed not by me but my staff. By my staff."
This briefing was more contentious than many the White House has seen since Biden became president. The report clearly gave White House reporters an opening and the question period became a feeding frenzy of reporters calling out questions over each other.
Biden's main intention appeared to be to differentiate the case of his classified documents versus the case of Donald Trump's classified documents.
"I was especially pleased to see Special Counsel make clear, a stark distinction and difference between this case and Mr. Trump's case," Biden said. He said that he sat for interviews over the documents, allowed his home to be searched, though Trump's home was searched as well and the FBI intentionally did so when Trump was not at home.
Biden emphasized that the documents stored in his home were more secure that the documents stored in Trump's home. He took aim at the special counsel for asking when his son died. It was noted in the report that Biden was unable to answer the question.
As to whether or not he committed a crime by taking classified documents when he left the office of the Vice Presidency, Biden said "the bottom like is the matter is now closed. I'm going to continue what I've always focused on my job of the President, United States of America."
He took questions, the first from Peter Doocy. "President Biden, something that special counsel said in his report, is that one of the reasons you were not charged is because in his description, you 'are a well meaning elderly man with a poor memory.'"
"I'm well meaning I'm an elderly man and I know what the hell I'm doing," Biden said. "I'm the president and I put this country back on its feet. I don't need his recommendation."
Doocy interrupted, asking "How bad is your memory and can you continue as President?"
"My memory is so bad I let you speak," Biden said. Other reporters chimed in asking if his memory has gotten worse. "My memory is fine," he said. Earlier this week, he said he spoke about J6 to both late German Chancellor Kohl and the former French President Mitterand. Kohl passed in 2017 while Mitterand died in 1996.
"I did not break the law," he said as he walked out the briefing room. He came back to address a final question regarding the hostage situation in Gaza, in which Hamas is still holding Israelis they kidnapped on October 7.
In his answer, he confused Mexico and Egypt. He claimed that situation in Gaza has been "over the top."
"As you know, initially, the president of Mexico, [El-]Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him, I convinced him to open the gate," he said. El-Sisi is the president of Egypt.
This gaffe came just after he assured reporters and the American public that he was the most qualified person to lead the nation.
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