Karine Jean-Pierre answers point-blank if Biden suffers from dementia after disastrous debate


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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answered point-blank that President Biden does not suffer from Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia in the wake of last Thursday’s debate.

“Does President Biden, at 81 years old, have Alzheimer’s, any form of dementia or degenerative illness that cause these sorts of lapses? And it’s a yes or no question,” a reporter asked Jean-Pierre on Tuesday afternoon.

“Are you ready for it? It’s a no. And I hope you’re asking the other guy the same exact question,” Jean-Pierre responded, referring to former President Trump.

Tuesday’s press briefing marked the first since Biden’s debate performance last week that sparked calls among Democrats and legacy media outlets that the president should drop out of the election over mounting concerns over his age and mental acuity. Biden was seen tripping over his words during the debate, losing his train of thought at times, responding with a raspy voice, and he was overall slammed for having a slow and weak demeanor while squaring off against Trump.

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images/File)

Concerns over the president’s mental fitness have circulated for years, heightening in recent months after Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report described Biden as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” 

Last month, the White House dismissed repeated recorded instances of Biden’s gaffes or miscues during public events as “cheap fakes,” such as the viral video showing the president standing relatively motionless during a Juneteenth concert event at the White House. 

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Jean-Pierre doubled down during the White House press briefing that the administration has no regrets over promoting the cheap fake narrative, even after the debate sparked widespread concern over the president’s mental acuity, most notably among traditional left-wing allies. Cheap fakes, under the White House’s definition, are understood as real videos that are cropped or edited in an allegedly deceptive manner.

Joe Biden at Juneteenth concert

President Biden is shown during the Juneteenth celebration at the White House. (Fox News/Pool)

“Not at all, not at all,” she answered when Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich asked if the administration regretted using the terminology. “… Independent, mainstream fact-checkers in the press and misinformation experts have been calling out cheap fakes. And at the end of the day, they’re fakes. That’s what they were – targeting the president. They have said, the reporters and these misinformation experts, said that this president was being targeted. And what we did was echo them. That’s what we did. And look, we’ll certainly continue to call that out.”

Jean-Pierre noted that she did not coin the phrase and that the administration took the phrase from the media.

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“That came from the media. They called it cheap fakes. And they said this president, President Biden, was being targeted on misinformation. It was purposefully being done to this president. And what we did is we echoed that. So, I don’t regret it at all. It was just the facts.” 

Joe Biden

President Biden is shown during the debate with former President Trump at CNN’s studios in Atlanta on June 27, 2024. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

The Trump campaign called for an apology over the phrase last week, arguing that after Biden’s debate performance “everyone sees there’s NOTHING fake about Biden’s decline.”

“The Biden White House and entire Democrat Party are both directly implicated in the greatest coverup (sic) in U.S. political history – and the mainstream media is complicit in their lies to the American public about Joe Biden’s mental state,” Trump campaign national press secretary Karoline Leavitt told Fox News Digital last week. “They owe an apology to not just our campaign, but more importantly to the American people, for this major scandal that has led to the demise of our country over the past four years.”

The majority of questions Jean-Pierre fielded Tuesday afternoon revolved around Biden’s mental and physical health, with the press secretary underscoring that Biden and his allies, such as former President Obama, have noted the debate did not go well for the president but that he’s “fighting” for the American people. 

“Is anyone in the White House hiding information about the president’s health or his ability to do the job day to day?” one reporter asked Jean-Pierre. 

“Absolutely not,” she answered. 

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“After the debate, did the president get examined by a doctor, or did he get a neurological scan?” another reporter asked.

“A neurological scan? Look, what I can say is that, just to take a step back, it was a bad night. We understand that it was a bad night, and the president has spoken to this, and he understands that,” she responded.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump

President Biden and former President Trump debate in Atlanta. (Getty Images)

Jean-Pierre continued in the press briefing that the administration has been “transparent” about the president’s health history, saying they have released comprehensive medical reports for Biden’s annual checkups.

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The press conference comes the same day as Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, called on Biden to withdraw from the presidential race, marking the first time an elected Democrat official called on the president to bow out.

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President-Biden-Holds-Post-Debate-Rally-In-North-Carolina

President Biden speaks at a post-debate campaign rally on June 28, 2024, in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

“President Biden has continued to run substantially behind Democratic senators in key states and in most polls has trailed Donald Trump. I had hoped that the debate would provide some momentum to change that. It did not. Instead of reassuring voters, the president failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump’s many lies,” Doggett said.

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Legacy media outlets, such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, published opinion pieces calling on Biden to bow out of the race after the debate, and former elected officials and other traditional allies of the party have made similar remarks.



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