A private reception for donors to President Joe Biden was briefly interrupted by a train of thought in which Biden claimed to have recently spoken with a former chancellor of Germany who died long ago.
According to attendees of the New York event who spoke with Bloomberg, President Biden waxed affectionately about a positive call he had recently with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who has been dead for seven years. Biden claimed the conversation occurred during the 2021 G7 summit in the U.K. The mixup appeared to be referring to Angela Merkel, the former chancellor who left office later that year.
“And then Helmut Kohl turned to me and said, ‘What would you say, Mr. President, if you picked up the London Times and learned that a thousand people had broken down the doors of the British Parliament, killed some bobbies on the way in, to deny the prime minister to take office?” Biden told a crowd of donors on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.
To make matters more vexing, Biden attended a second reception later that night where he repeated the same story. The misremembering comes days after President Biden told a crowd in Las Vegas that he recently spoke with French President François Mitterrand, who died in 1996.
“And Mitterrand (referring to Macron) from Germany — I mean France — looked at me and said, ‘How long you back for?’” Biden said to the Las Vegas crowd on Sunday. “And I looked at him, and the — and the Chancellor of Germany said, “What would you say, Mr. President, if you picked up the paper tomorrow in the London Times, and London Times said, ‘A thousand people break through the House of Commons, break down the doors, two Bobbies are killed in order to stop the election of the Prime Minister?”
The Daily Caller followed up on Bloomberg’s report, asking the White House for comment, but received none.
Concerns about President Biden’s mental acuity and fitness for office have plagued his first term and been fanned by former President Donald Trump, who has mocked the Democratic incumbent for “walking on toothpicks” and attempting to walk through the back wall of auditoriums following his speeches. Attempts by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to deflect the topic have been met with scorn by mainstream media reporters who refuse to let her off the hook about large majorities of Americans who express concern over Biden’s age. If reelected, he would leave office at the age of 86, the oldest president to ever serve.
President Trump, meanwhile, recently released his own physical fitness report on Biden’s birthday this past November. His doctor reported that Trump is in “excellent” physical and mental health, writing that his “physical exams were well within the normal range and his cognitive exams were exceptional.” He added that the results were “even more favorable than prior testing on some of the most significant parameters”