Joe Biden Mexico: US President confuses countries in wild gaffe

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US President Joe Biden appeared in front of the nation on Thursday night at a press conference where, among other things, he defended his memory and addressed concerns about his mental state.

The 81-year-old’s appearance in front of the media at the White House came after a report into his handling of classified documents stated he had a “poor memory”.

But one comment is likely to be pounced on by critics. When answering a question about the Israel-Hamas war during the conference, Mr Biden mistakenly referred to Egypt’s leader Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as “the president of Mexico”.

“I am of the view, as you know, the conduct of the response in the Gaza Strip has been over the top,” Mr Biden said.

“As you know, initially the president of Mexico Sissi 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.”

The mix-up was not missed by those watching on, including by RealClearPolitics political correspondent Susan Crabtree who pointed out the “danger of a live press conference”.

The confusion came after a bombshell report released by the Justice Department on Friday recommended Mr Biden should not face charges for wilfully holding onto classified material after he left his job as vice president in 2017.

Investigators had uncovered a recording of the now-US President confiding in his ghostwriter Mark Zwonitzer in April 2017, three months after leaving the vice presidency, that he still had official records because “I didn’t want to turn them in”.

In the report, special counsel Robert Hur suggested that jurors would not hold Mr Biden liable for his actions on account of his perceived mental decline.

“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 stated.

Hitting back at the claim, Mr Biden told reporters at Thursday night’s press conference: “I know what the hell I’m doing.

“I’ve been president and I put this country back on its feet,” he insisted.

“My memory is fine. Take a look at what I’ve done since I’ve become president. None of you thought I could pass any of the things I got passed. How did that happen? I guess I just forgot what was going on.”

‘How in the hell dare he raise that?’

Mr Biden also addressed Hur’s claim that he couldn’t remember the timing of his son Beau’s death in May 2015.

“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him,” the report stated.

Speaking at the press conference Mr Biden questioned: “How in the hell dare he raise that?”

“Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, it wasn’t any of their damn business.”

Mr Biden’s perceived lack of memory is a serious political problem, as national polls already show large majorities of voters believe he is too old to hold office.

“If you’re too senile to stand trial, then you’re too senile to be president,” said Alex Pfeiffer, spokesman for Make America Great Again, a pro-Trump PAC.

Donald Trump himself, who is younger than Biden by three years and seven months, fumed about what he called a double standard in the US legal system — as he prepares to stand trial over similar allegations beginning May 20 in South Florida.


“The Biden Documents Case is 100 times different and more severe than mine. I did nothing wrong, and I co-operated far more. What Biden did is outrageously criminal – He had 50 years of documents, 50 times more than I had, and ‘WILFULLY RETAINED’ them,” Mr Trump went on.

“I was covered by the Presidential Records Act, Secret Service was always around, and GSA delivered the documents. Deranged [special counsel] Jack Smith should drop this Case immediately. ELECTION INTERFERENCE.”

About an hour after the Hur report was released, Biden told House Democrats at a conference in Virginia that “there’s stark differences between this case and Donald Trump.”

Among those differences, Biden contended, were that Trump “obstructed justice by enlisting others to destroy evidence” whereas he “turned in classified documents to the National Archives.

– With the New York Post

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