Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday took a swipe at special counsel Robert Hur for including an assessment of President Biden’s memory and recall abilities as part of an investigation into his handling of classified documents.
Psaki, during her MSNBC show “Inside with Jen Psaki,” said the details of the report handed former President Trump’s political team “a big old gift.”
Hur released a 388-page report last Thursday that concluded Biden “willfully” retained classified documents, but he stopped short of charging the president with any crime. The report’s most controversial aspect, however, was its description of Biden’s memory and recall, casting the president as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
The assessment of the president’s memory has dominated coverage about Hur’s report, with many of Biden’s political opponents seizing on the details to emphasize why he is unfit to serve another term.
“I wasn’t aware that [Hur] was also a doctor, but he included this line, basically questioning the cognitive abilities of Joe Biden,” Psaki quipped on Sunday. “Now, I’m also not going to sit here and pretend that the president is a young sprite. He isn’t. He would tell you he’s not either. He’s 81 years old.”
Psaki served as White House press secretary under Biden before departing from the role in May 2022.
“It’s not a narrative. It’s a fact. And the constant questioning about his age is one of the biggest challenges that his campaign faces. They know that,” she added. “But let’s not forget who 81-year-old Joe Biden is running against, 77-year-old, not a sprite, Donald Trump. Whatever you wish, it is time to settle into the fact that there will be two baby boomers competing for the White House in November.”
Psaki then referenced Biden’s press conference held hours after the report was released, in which the president mistakenly referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as the “president of Mexico” when answering a question on the Israel-Hamas war.
“Look, President Biden makes gaffes. He has … for years. But if we’re going to pay the gaffe game, let’s play the gaffe game for a moment,” Psaki said, before playing a series of clips in which Trump appears to mix up names and places on various occasions.
Psaki said she could fill “an entire show, hours of shows,” with Trump’s gaffes and asked, “I wonder what Dr. Hur would have to say about all of that. Curious.”
“But honestly, it’s beside the larger point because Trump gaffing is not even close to what the biggest risks of electing him are. And if we continue to focus on questions like who is the bigger gaffe machine, or what is the mental acuity difference between a 77-year-old and an 81-year-old, then we are all doing something very wrong,” she continued.
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