White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it was actually President Joe Biden's idea to address reporters directly following the release of special counsel Robert Hur's report.
That report noted what it called Biden's diminished cognitive abilities as a reason not to formally charge the president. Hur's report of Biden's classified documents case described Biden as a "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."
When asked in the White House press briefing room if it was Biden's idea to meet the press, she confirmed, "It was the president's idea. You saw the president out, do this, make a statement, take questions from all of you because he wanted to do it."
"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," Hur's report said. "Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt.
"It could be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his 80s — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."
Last Thursday's press conference was combative from the start. When Biden was asked by a reporter about Hur's specific use of the term "poor memory," Biden fired back, "I know what the hell I'm doing. I'm gonna put this country back on its feet."
"My memory is so bad I let you speak," he quickly added.
On his way out, Biden was asked about the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Biden returned to the podium and said, "As you know, initially, the President of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in."
Biden was referring to Abdel Fatah El-Sisi who is the president of Egypt and not Mexico.
House Republicans are looking to obtain a transcript of the nearly five-hour interview Hur had with Biden as part of their investigation into alleged influence peddling involving the president and members of his family.
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