Joe Biden angrily lashed out the lawyer looking into his handling of classified documents in surprise remarks on Thursday, after the prosecution referenced the death of his son.
Special counsel Robert Hur suggested in his report that, during voluntary questioning, Biden had forgotten when his son Beau died from a brain tumour (in 2015).
Speaking a few hours after the report was released, the president said: “There’s even reference that I don’t remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that.
“Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damn business.”
“I don’t need anyone to remind me of when he passed away,” he said.
Hur’s report claimed Biden also forgot what year his term as vice president under Barack Obama began (2009) and ended (2017).
He insisted “my memory is fine”, that the claims he had wilfully kept the classified documents was “just plain wrong”.
In their own comments included in the report, Biden’s lawyers said memory lapses were not uncommon for someone when recalling events from years ago.
They added that Hur’s remarks “have no place in a Department of Justice report”.
One reporter asked the president: “How bad is your memory? Can you continue as president?”
Biden replied sarcastically,: “My memory is so bad I let you speak. ... None of you thought I could pass any of the things I got passed. How’d that happen? No, I guess I just forgot what was going on.”
The report concluded that Biden will not face criminal charges after taking classified documents when his vice presidency ended in 2017, because he cooperated with the 15-month investigation.
Prosecutor Hur also alleged Biden would be difficult to convict because he is a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”.
Hur’s report means that, unlike Donald Trump, Biden does not risk any potential imprisonment for his mishandling of classified documents.
Biden is the oldest person to ever serve as US president but is seeking a second term in the White House in the upcoming presidential election.
In the last week, Biden has made headlines after confusing a 2021 conversation with then-German chancellor Angela Merkel with the late German chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Biden also appeared to muddle up the names of the presidents of Mexico and Egypt in his rebuttal to the classified documents report, too.