Politics

He Put Age Fears ‘to Rest’ in State of the Union

On Tuesday’s “CNN News Central,” Biden Campaign Co-Chair Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) responded to a report on a transcript released by former Special Counsel Robert Hur showing Biden had to be reminded his son died in 2015, not in 2017 or 2018, by stating that concerns about Biden’s mental fitness have “been put to rest by President Biden’s forceful, compelling State of the Union address” last week.

Prior to the start of the interview, co-host Kate Bolduan read from CNN’s reporting on the transcript that said, “Asked where he kept papers that he was working on, Biden began a story framing the context as the 2017-2018 era. The President brought up his son Beau, who he said had encouraged him to remain politically engaged. ‘Remember, in this time frame, my son is either deployed or is dying,’ Biden said, according to the transcript. The President brought up his son’s death and he remembered the month and day: ‘What month did Beau die? Oh God, May 30.’ Several people in the room interjected to remind him that his son died in 2015.”

She continued, “Now, Robert Hur also determined that there was not evidence enough to win a conviction on the documents question that was the key of the investigation. No charges were recommended. Hur will address all of this when he testifies this morning before a House committee. In his opening statement, as CNN has obtained, he’s expected to say this, ‘the evidence and the President himself put his memory squarely at issue.’ Also saying his task was to determine if the President willfully retained or disclosed national defense information with the intent to do something the law forbids. Hur will add, according to the opening statement, ‘I could not make that determination without assessing the President’s state of mind.’”

Bolduan then asked Coons, “What is your reaction to what I’ve laid out there? CNN’s reporting on the actual transcript of the President’s interview with Hur, and also his commentary about Biden’s memory that he is — that he will be bringing up in his opening statement this morning?”

Coons responded, “Kate, look, I think what really matters here about this whole [kerfuffle] is that, at the end of the day, former President Donald Trump is facing 40 felony counts in a federal action because of his mishandling of federal classified documents, while President Joe Biden has been cleared. All the back and forth about the commentary by the Special Counsel, I think, at the end of the day, has been put to rest by President Biden’s forceful, compelling State of the Union address on Thursday, which makes it clear that the stray comments by a Special Counsel in a report really don’t amount to much compared to the underlying reality that President Biden has deep respect for the classified document process, fully cooperated, and his predecessor did not.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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