Biden says ‘my memory is fine,’ disputes special counsel’s report in national address


President Joe Biden in a televised address Thursday evening disputed new claims by special counsel Robert Hur that he willfully retained classified material at his Delaware home, and that he exhibited poor memory during an interview in the fall about that material.

“My memory has not gotten worse,” Biden told reporters at the White House hours after Hur released his report, in which he said he would not criminally charge the president.

“My memory is fine.”

Biden was visibly angry at Hur’s claim that he could not remember the year his son Beau Biden died, which the special counsel cited among other examples of evidence that Biden’s memory “appeared hazy” during interviews with investigators.

The president said that when he was asked a question about that year Beau died “I thought to myself [it] wasn’t any of their damn business.”

“I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away,” Biden said.

The president also said, “I’ve seen the headlines since the report was released about my willful retention of documents. These assertions are not only misleading, they’re just plain wrong.”

Hur’s report did say Biden willfully retained the classified documents.

But Biden noted that Hur elsewhere in the same report wrote “there is in fact a shortage of evidence” that the president willfully retained classified material related to Afghanistan.

On another page in the report, Biden said, Hur wrote, “The decision to decline criminal charges was straightforward. The evidence suggests that Mr. Biden did not willfully retain these documents.”

US President Joe Biden speaks about the Special Counsel report in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 8, 2024 in a surprise last-minute addition to his schedule for the day.

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images

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