White House officials on Friday called the special counsel’s report into President Biden’s handling of classified material politically motivated, escalating their 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 it was “inappropriate” and “troubling.”
The statements are part of an effort to rebuff the report by Robert K. Hur, the special counsel 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 in Delaware 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.”
For a president whose primary political vulnerability is a perception that he is a diminished figure, those descriptions amounted to some of the most damaging accounts of his age during his time in the White House.
The report forced the White House into immediate damage control, with the president holding a news conference on Thursday to push back on its conclusions about his mental acuity. “My memory is fine,” said Mr. Biden, who for years has fought questions about his age.
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