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Wall Street Journal: “Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping”

The Wall Street Journal published an article on Tuesday evening questioning US President Joe Biden’s mental acuity and memory, providing detailed examples from multiple sources.

“When President Biden met with congressional leaders in the West Wing in January to negotiate a Ukraine funding deal, he spoke so softly at times that some participants struggled to hear him, according to five people familiar with the meeting. He read from notes to make obvious points, paused for extended periods and sometimes closed his eyes for so long that some in the room wondered whether he had tuned out.

In a February one-on-one chat in the Oval Office with House Speaker Mike Johnson, the president said a recent policy change by his administration that jeopardizes some big energy projects was just a study, according to six people told at the time about what Johnson said had happened. Johnson worried the president’s memory had slipped about the details of his own policy.

Last year, when Biden was negotiating with House Republicans to lift the debt ceiling, his demeanor and command of the details seemed to shift from one day to the next, according to then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and two others familiar with the talks. On some days, he had loose and spontaneous exchanges with Republicans, and on others he mumbled and appeared to rely on notes.

This article is based on interviews with more than 45 people over several months. 

On May 20, during a Rose Garden event celebrating Jewish American Heritage month, Biden said one of the U.S. hostages held in Gaza was a guest at the White House event, before correcting himself. One day earlier, at a campaign event in Detroit, he indicated that he was vice president during the Covid-19 pandemic, which started three years after he left that office. It was one of numerous flubs in the single speech that prompted the White House to make corrections to the official transcript.

In January, he mixed up two of his Hispanic cabinet secretaries, Alejandro Mayorkas and Xavier Becerra. During a February fundraiser in New York, he recounted speaking to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl—who died in 2017—at the 2021 Group of Seven meeting. That same month, at a different fundraiser, he said that during the 2021 G-7 summit he had spoken to former French President François Mitterrand, who died in 1996.

Questions about Biden’s age were amplified in February when Special Counsel Robert K. Hur, who interviewed him for roughly five hours over two days in October during the probe into his handling of classified documents, reported that Biden’s memory had been “significantly limited.” Biden responded in a news conference: “I know what the hell I’m doing.”

Jan. 17, 2024: Ukraine Meeting
With Ukraine running out of munitions, the White House called together top lawmakers to discuss what it would take to get congressional funding, along with the scope of border-security changes demanded by Republicans. The president moved so slowly around the Cabinet Room to greet the nearly two dozen congressional leaders that it took about 10 minutes for the meeting to begin, some people who attended recalled.

Biden started the meeting reading from notes to make broad points about the need to give money to Ukraine, which struck several participants as odd given that the lawmakers present already generally agreed that more funds were needed. Some attendees had trouble hearing him.

Biden deferred so frequently to other lawmakers that much of the conversation didn’t include him, some people who attended the meeting recalled. When questions came directly to him, he would turn to staffers, they said.

“You couldn’t be there and not feel uncomfortable,” said one person who attended. “I’ll just say that.”

Feb. 27, 2024: Biden and Johnson
Just after a late-February meeting of House and Senate leaders about military assistance to Ukraine, Biden pulled aside Johnson for a chat about funding and what it would take to bring the matter to a House vote.

Johnson brought up a new administration energy policy that halts future permits for shipping LNG to many countries, including in Europe, while the climate, economic and national-security impact of those exports are studied. The policy fanned concern that the ban would scuttle new projects and ultimately force U.S. allies to import more from energy-rich adversaries like Russia. The policy also affects several multibillion-dollar projects in Johnson’s home state of Louisiana by denying them, for now, key export permits.

“Mr. President, you are helping Vladimir Putin,” Johnson told the president, according to one of the people briefed on the exchange. Biden said that wasn’t true, and that the new policy was only a study, according to several people familiar with Johnson’s version of what happened. Johnson was dismayed that Biden appeared to have forgotten details of his own policies, they said.

May 2023: Debt Ceiling
In 2011, when Biden was vice president, he played a central role in negotiations with Republicans over increasing the debt ceiling, striking a deal when the country was on the precipice of a default. According to some Republicans involved in similar negotiations with him in May 2023, his level of engagement was uneven.

“He would ramble,” said McCarthy, who led the Republican side of the talks. “He always had cards. He couldn’t negotiate another way.”

The president spoke so softly and with such little enunciation that attendees said they struggled to hear what he was saying, people familiar with the meeting said. He told the same story more than once about his experiences with the DuPont company during his time as a Delaware senator, one of the people said.

As Republican negotiators drove away from the White House, they called a colleague to update him on the talks, according to someone familiar with the call. One topic of discussion: the president and his acuity.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

5 Responses

  1. No, can’t possibly be true. Our first African American female proud lesbian press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, lectured the American sheeple that Joe Biden is thee Messiah and second coming. Those white racists at the WSJ ought to apologize for spreading such disinformation.

  2. “He read from notes to make obvious points, paused for extended periods and sometimes closed his eyes for so long that some in the room wondered whether he had tuned out.”

    I remember my grandfather doing exactly this as he got older! He’d nod off mid sentence then wake up a few minutes later and continue. Like a weird power nap. This is not good! Why is he running again????

  3. It is important to end this facade of an Administration and reelect President Trump in November. Biden has been a puppet for Obama, has proven incapable of running anything (except possible his international extortion racket for personal gain), especially the Presidency, and the country has been headed down a path toward ultra left wing craziness and malignant anti-Semitism.

    President Trump appears to be the one most capable of restoring the U.S. toward the proper path, which would also be good for Israel.

  4. yyyyaaaawwwwnnnn……

    Good morning WSJ.
    At least your not as slow as biden.
    this guy, practising his only valuable qualification of current, ie the circus clown, has been so for quite a while…..

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