President Joe Biden during two separate fundraisers Wednesday recalled speaking with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl about the Jan. 6, 2021, violence at the U.S. Capitol — but Kohl died in 2017, almost five years before the incidents took place.
The comments came days after he confused French President Emmanuel Macron with late French leader Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996, The New York Post reported.
Biden's blunders came in front of audiences while he was speaking about his first international trip as president, during which he went to the 2021 G-7 summit in Great Britain after defeating former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
"I showed up … and I sat down and said, 'America's back,'" he recalled, according to a pool report of an event at the home of Maureen White, wife of Steven Rattner, the manager of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's multibillion dollar fortune.
"[French President Emmanuel] Macron looked at me and said, 'For how long?' How long? Not a joke," Biden continued. "Helmut Kohl said, 'Joe, what would you think if you picked up the phone and picked up the paper tomorrow and learned in the London Times, on the front page, that 1,000 people stormed the Parliament, broke down the doors of the House of Commons and killed 2 bobbies in the process … trying to stop the election of a prime minister?'" he added, speaking to about 50 guests, including actor Robert De Niro.
Angela Merkel, not Kohl, would have been the chancellor of Germany at the time of the 2021 G-7 summit.
The president later also referred to "Helmut Kohl of Germany" while telling a nearly identical story in an event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Columbus Circle on Wednesday.
During the Mitterrand gaffe, Biden was telling the same story in Las Vegas and said the late French leader, rather than Kohl, had presented him with the same hypothetical question about Jan. 6.
"It was in the south of England. And I sat down and I said, 'America is back,'" Biden said. "Mitterrand from Germany, I mean from France, looked at me and said – said, 'you know what — why — how long you back for?'" Biden said.
Mitterrand, who was in office from 1981 to 1995, died in 1996 at the age of 79.
The stumbles come as concerns grow about his mental acuity while seeking reelection. He would be 86 years old when his second term ends if he wins in November.
Such missteps include in an October 2022 function, where Biden was seeking out late Rep. Jackie Walorski, D-Ind., during a White House event, even though she had died eight weeks before.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.