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Biden, 81, showing signs of decline as pols and aides detail use of cheat sheets, closing eyes for extended periods of time: ‘Not the same person’



Biden, 81, showing signs of decline as pols and aides detail use of cheat sheets, closing eyes for extended periods of time: ‘Not the same person’

President Biden’s cognitive decline has become obvious and concerning to several high-ranking congressional lawmakers, according to a bombshell new report — which describes how the 81-year-old commander-in-chief increasingly relies on cheat sheets in meetings and at times has closed his eyes for so long that people wondered if he had drifted off.

Some of the more than 45 Republican and Democratic lawmakers and staffers interviewed by the Wall Street Journal also described a president who spoke so softly during meetings that participants struggled to understand him.

A shocking report on Tuesday detailed accounts from dozens of politicians and aides who have noticed President Biden’s cognitive decline. Ron Sachs – Pool via CNP / MEGA
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was quoted as saying that Biden is “not the same person.” Getty Images

Others noted that Biden’s demeanor and grasp of policy details varied by the day and he frequently relied on notes and deferred to aides during conferences.

“You couldn’t be there and not feel uncomfortable,” one person, who met with the president during critical negotiations over congressional funding for Ukraine aid in January, told the outlet.

“I’ll just say that.”

Others in attendance recalled that it took Biden about 10 minutes from when he entered the room to get the meeting started, and when he did, he used note cards to make obvious points that everyone was already in agreement with and participants could barely hear him. 

“Much of the conversation didn’t include him,” the report states, noting that the president asked his staffers to answer some questions posed directly to him. 

In a February follow-up with House Speaker Mike Johnson, the Louisiana Republican expressed his concern to the president over the administration’s liquid natural gas export policy — fearing it was benefiting Russia. 

Biden didn’t seem to know the policy was actually in effect and falsely claimed it was “only a study,” according to the report. 

The exchange “dismayed” Johnson, according to individuals who witnessed it. 

Biden would “ramble” and mumble, and his ability to command the room varied from day to day during tense negotiations over raising the debt ceiling last May, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) recalled.

Other accounts claimed that Biden would often “ramble.” REUTERS

“He always had cards,” McCarthy said, referring to Biden’s dependence on notes. “He couldn’t negotiate another way.

“I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house. He’s not the same person,” he added.

In follow-up calls with Biden, lawmakers tasked by McCarthy to hammer out the details of the debt ceiling plan struggled to get the president to make the final call on key points. 

Their conversations with the president were frustratingly “general,” and Biden would only express “optimism about working things out.”

“He was going back to all the old stuff that had been done for a long time,” McCarthy told the Wall Street Journal about the excruciating final stages of the negotiations, suggesting that Biden seemed to have forgotten how far along the White House and Congress were on getting a deal done. 

“And he was shocked when I’d say: ‘No, Mr. President. We talked about that meetings ago. We are done with that,’” he recalled.

McCarthy emphasized Biden’s reliance on notes, claiming the president “couldn’t negotiate another way.” AP

A senior GOP aide told The Post that the alarming allegations in the report are why the Justice Department has refused to release tapes of Biden’s interview with former special counsel Robert Hur in the classified documents investigation

“Behind closed doors? Isn’t it obvious in public?” the aide said. “Don’t you think that’s why they want to hide the Hur transcript?”

A White House official dismissed suggestions that the accounts depict a president with declining mental acuity.

“Congressional Republicans, foreign leaders and nonpartisan national security experts have made clear in their own words that President Biden is a savvy and effective leader who has a deep record of legislative accomplishment,” spokesman Andrew Bates told the outlet.

“Now, in 2024, House Republicans are making false claims as a political tactic that flatly contradict previous statements made by themselves and their colleagues.”

Biden, the oldest president in US history, would be 86 by the end of a second term, if re-elected.

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