The White House on Friday called the special counsel’s report into President Biden’s handling of classified material politically motivated, escalating its attempts to discredit a document that characterized the president as elderly and forgetful.
Vice President Kamala Harris suggested that the report was more of a political attack than an unbiased legal document. Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House Counsel’s Office, said the report was “inappropriate” and “troubling.”
The statements are part of a frantic effort to push back against the report by the special counsel, Robert K. Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to investigate how classified material from Mr. Biden’s time as vice president had ended up in his garage and an office in Washington.
The report, which was released on Thursday, found that “no criminal charges are warranted,” a conclusion that was immediately overshadowed by the characterization of the president’s memory. The report said Mr. Biden, 81, was a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” and had “diminished faculties in advancing age.”
The report forced the White House into immediate damage control, with the president holding a quickly organized news conference to push back on its conclusions about his mental acuity.
“My memory is fine,” said Mr. Biden, who for years has fought the perception that he is a diminished figure.
On Friday, Ms. Harris described the report as “politically motivated.”
“The way the president’s demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts and clearly politically motivated,” Ms. Harris said in response to questions from reporters at the White House.
She also said Mr. Biden had sat down for in-person interviews with the special counsel’s office just a day after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
“It was an intense moment for the commander in chief of the United States of America,” Ms. Harris said. “He was in front of it all, coordinating and directing leaders who are in charge of America’s national security.”
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