Latest News 14-02-2024 00:01 5 Views

White House says it was Biden’s idea to hold press conference after release of special counsel’s report

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre revealed Tuesday that it was President Biden’s idea to hold what has since become a widely criticized press conference following the release of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on his handling of classified documents. 

Jean-Pierre, speaking at the White House press briefing, said 'it was the president’s idea' to appear last Thursday in front of the media to defend himself from the findings in Hur’s report, which described the 81-year-old as a 'sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.' 

During the barrage of questions, Biden at one point raised his voice at a reporter and later made a gaffe by referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi as the 'president of Mexico.' 

'He wanted to, it was his idea,' Jean-Pierre said when asked Tuesday about how the unexpected event came to be. She then deflected when a reporter asked 'did anyone advise him against it?' 

'I'm not going to get into private conversations that the president has. The president is the president of the United States,' Jean-Pierre shot back. 'If he says he wants to speak to directly to the American people, he's going to do that.' 

She also said Tuesday that the White House counsel is looking into the public release of the transcripts of Biden’s conversations with Hur. 

At the press conference last week, Biden appeared visibly angered when responding to claims in Hur's report that Biden did not remember when his son Beau died. 

Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Biden's handling of classified documents, concluded he would not bring charges against him in part because a jury would find him to be a 'sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory,' despite the acknowledgment that the documents were 'willfully' obtained by Biden both as vice president and as a senator.  

The press conference has since been panned by the media, with outlets such as Axios calling it a 'vivid display of an elderly, irritable man struggling on a public stage.' 

Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark and Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

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