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Defiant White House says Biden won’t take cognitive test — despite damning Hur report and worried voters

The White House says President Biden will not take a cognitive test — even after a damning report from his own Department of Justice highlighting his “poor memory” and voters expressing major concerns about his mental acuity.

“The president proves every day [in] how he operates and how he thinks — by dealing with world leaders, by making difficult decisions on behalf of the American people — whether it’s domestic or national security,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed to reporters Monday, quoting from Biden’s physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor.

“That is how Dr. O’Connor sees it, and that is how I’m going to leave it,” she said, adding that she has known the now-81-year-old Biden since 2009 and he is still “sharp.”

“When we have meetings with him and his staff he is constantly pushing us, trying to get more information, and so that has been my experience with this president,” Jean-Pierre said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declared Monday that President Biden will not take a cognitive test. AFP via Getty Images
Voters have expressed major concerns about his mental acuity, and a damning report from his own Department of Justice highlighted his “poor memory.” @RNCResearch / X

The controversial issue took on more urgency after special counsel Robert Hur produced a report Thursday that revealed the prosecutor will not charge the president for “willfully” retaining classified material — because a jury would likely view the commander-in-chief as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” and “diminished faculties in advancing age.” 

Last year, O’Connor did not put Biden through any cognitive tests. The doctor has also never taken questions from the press — in a clear break from White House precedent.

Jean-Pierre, asked about finally letting O’Connor take reporters’ questions after the oldest-ever president’s annual physical, which is expected to take place as soon as this month, refused to commit to whether that would now occur.

Last year, White House physician Kevin O’Connor did not put Biden through any cognitive tests. The doctor has also never taken questions from the press — in a clear break with precedent. White House Photo Office

Jean-Pierre maligned Hur, saying, “He’s not a medical doctor.

“He’s just not. It’s not for him to speak to. It’s just not,” she said.

An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday after Hur’s report found that a whopping 86% of US adults believe Biden is too old for another term in office — and 62% said former President Donald Trump, 77, was too old for a second term, too.

An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday after Hur’s report found that a whopping 86% of US adults believe Biden is too old for another term in office. AFP via Getty Images
In the middle of the 2020 presidential race, Trump boasted about having “aced” a cognitive test — and hit Biden for not being put through his paces mentally. AP

In September, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 74% of Americans believed the president was too old to run for re-election, and 49% said the same about Trump.

In the middle of the 2020 presidential race against Biden, which he lost, Trump boasted about having “aced” a cognitive test — and hit Biden for not being put through his paces mentally.

“He hasn’t taken any cognitive test because he wouldn’t pass one,” Trump told “Fox News” host Sean Hannity in a phone interview.

“I proved I was all there because I aced it,” Trump claimed. “I aced the test, and he should take the same exact test. A very standard test, I took it at Walter Reed, a medical center in front of doctors, and they were very surprised.”

At a 2024 campaign event in Iowa in December, the GOP frontrunner knocked Biden again and said the Democratic incumbent should be “forced to take” a cognitive exam.

“But, I took a cognitive exam, and I aced it,” Trump said.

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