Biden Forgets Key Dates in Special Counsel Interview Transcript

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President Biden confused key dates during his October interview with special counsel Robert Hur, forgetting which year his son Beau died of brain cancer, as well as the year Donald Trump was elected president, a transcript of the sitdown shows.

During a discussion of why he kept sensitive papers after leaving the vice presidency in 2017, the 81-year-old president launched into a rambling explanation before asking: “What month did Beau die? Oh, God, May 30 —“

At that point, White House lawyer Rachel Cotton and an unidentified man reminded Biden that his son died in 2015.

“Was it 2015 he had died?” Biden responded, according to the transcript.

“It was May of 2015,” he was told.

“It was 2015,” Biden repeated. 

Joe Biden, Beau Biden
Biden seemed to confuse the date that his son Beau died, according to transcripts.AFP via Getty Images

The sequence contradicted Biden’s angry claim that Hur had inappropriately raised his son’s death during the interview.

“There’s even some reference that I don’t remember when my son died,” the president said Feb. 8. “How the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damned business.”

In fact, the transcript shows Biden brought up Beau’s death unprompted by the special counsel.

Robert Hur
Robert Hur interviewed Biden during October.AP

Moments later, Biden referenced Trump’s election to the presidency and asked if he had been elected in “November of 2017” rather than the previous year.

The president also twice forgot over the course of one of the interview days what a fax machine is and had to be prompted by his staff.

Asked by Hur on the afternoon of Oct. 8, 2023, whether he ever brought classified material to his lake house in Wilmington, Del., Biden said, “Occasionally, because I did a lot of business from there.”

“I have a library, and the library has a — two filing cabinets, and it has built into the walls — when I built that home, built into the walls, a space for a copy machine, for — what do you call it, when they send these —,” the president said.

“Fax machine,” White House Counsel Ed Siskel cut in.

“Fax machine,” Biden echoed.


Minutes later, the president again forgot the name of “the machine” and had to be reminded by Siskel.

Biden also forgot the name of the agency that assumes possession of the classified documents from presidents and vice presidents after they leave office — and couldn’t recall which aide handed some of the files off.

“Was she the one that was getting material to the University of Delaware,” he wondered aloud. “[O]ne of them focused on taking the things that she thought that Delaware might want, or that would go to the what’s it called? You know, the federal government.”

“The Archives,” said Bob Bauer, the president’s personal attorney.

The Post obtained a copy of the transcript transcript was obtained by the New York Times, which published excerpts hours before Hur was due to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about his probe of Biden’s retention of classified national security information after leaving office.

Hur triggered outrage in his report last month, when he said he would not recommend charges against Biden in part because the 81-year-old president would present himself to a jury as an “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”


In his prepared remarks to the Judiciary panel, the special counsel said he had been prepared to defend the characterization in light of his decision not to bring charges.

“The need to show my work was especially strong here,” the remarks read. “The attorney general had appointed me to investigate the actions of the attorney general’s boss, the sitting president of the United States.

“I knew that for my decision to be credible, I could not simply announce that I recommended no criminal charges and leave it at that. I needed to explain why.”

Hur also said he would not deviate from the contents of the report itself and that “the evidence and the President himself put his memory squarely at issue.”


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