President Joe Biden wandered around the podium like a “lost puppy” during a crucial news conference on the ongoing conflict in Israel alongside Jordanian King Abdullah at the White House on Tuesday.
After delivering his remarks, Biden, 81, told the king: “Your majesty, to you.” The Scranton native proceeded to back away to the king’s left, laser focused on the ground, apparently searching for a marker. Right-wing commentator Benny Johnson described the president as a “lost puppy.”
A few seconds later, Biden walks to the other side of the king, still searching for a mark. He then returns to his first option, in front of the Jordanian flag. “I switched sides with you,” he commented as he smiled at the king.
This latest embarrassing moment comes after a week of gaffes in which he forgot the name of the terrorist group Hamas, referred to French President Emmanuel Macron, 46, by the name of the late President François Mitterrand, who died at 79 years old in 1996, and finally referring to former German leader Angela Merkel as the late Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Also last week, Biden rejected a report by special counsel Robert Hur in which the octogenarian president’s mental faculties were severely questioned to the point that there was speculation that he could not specify when his son, Beau, died.
Hours after Abdullah’s gaffe, liberal icon Jon Stewart criticized Biden’s response to the report and even the editorial pages of the New York Times questioned the Democrat’s presidency.
Biden delivered remarks reiterating his desire for peace in Israel on Tuesday.
After ceding the podium to King Abdullah of Jordan, Biden wandered behind the monarch in search of his marker
“I switched sides with you,” Biden told the king, prompting eager laughter.
Biden looks into the middle distance as King Abdullah talks about the future of Gaza
Hur found evidence that Biden intentionally withheld and shared highly classified information with a ghostwriter, the special counsel spent much of his report explaining why he did not believe the evidence met the standard for criminal charges.
Among the reasons cited for this conclusion was the high probability that the Justice Department would not be able to prove Biden’s intent beyond a reasonable doubt, due to advanced age which they said made him forgetful and the possibility of ‘explanations’. innocent’ for records they could not refute.
“I did not share classified information,” Biden insisted. “I didn’t share it with my ghostwriter.” He added that he did not know how the boxes containing classified documents ended up in his garage.
And in response to Hur’s portrayal of him, Biden insisted to reporters that “My memory is fine” and said he believes he remains the most qualified person to serve as president.
‘How the hell dare you bring that up?’ Biden asked about Hur’s comments about the death of his son and said he didn’t believe it was Hur’s business.
The meeting with Abdullah comes as Biden and his aides are working to mediate another pause in Israel’s war against Hamas to send humanitarian aid and supplies to the region and remove hostages.
The White House faces growing criticism from Arab Americans over the administration’s continued support for Israel in the face of rising casualties in Gaza since Hamas launched its Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
“The key elements of the agreement are on the table,” Biden said alongside the king, although “gaps remain.”
He said the United States would do “everything possible” to reach an agreement: a pause in fighting for at least six weeks and the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas.
A senior U.S. administration official said Sunday that after weeks of shuttle diplomacy and phone conversations, there was basically a framework for reaching a deal. The official said Israeli military pressure on Hamas in Khan Younis over the past few weeks has helped bring the militant group closer to accepting a deal.
Abdullah said Biden’s leadership was “key to addressing this conflict,” raising the plight of the tens of thousands of civilians killed and wounded in the fighting.
“We need a lasting ceasefire now,” the king said. “This war must end.”
Jordan and other Arab states have been highly critical of Israel’s actions and have avoided public support for long-term planning about what happens next, arguing that the fighting must end before such discussions can begin.
They have been demanding a ceasefire since mid-October when civilian casualties began to skyrocket.
Biden’s stance marks a subtle but notable break for the president, who has continued to oppose a permanent ceasefire. His administration has insisted that Hamas not retain political or military control over Gaza after the war, a key goal of the Israeli operation to prevent a repeat of the October 7 attack that killed more than 1,200 Israelis and took hostages. about 250.