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‘The article was BS’: Biden’s Cabinet fires back at scathing report exposing declining mental acuity

President Biden’s Cabinet members circled the wagons in response to an alarming Wall Street Journal article portraying Biden as mentally “slipping.” 

The piece, which ran Tuesday, included examples of gaffes and instances of low energy during private meetings. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was direct, telling Fox News Digital, “The article was BS.”

“The president is utterly on his game,” she added. “He is the wisest, most knowledgeable person in the room. He asks the toughest questions and has the keenest insights on the complex questions brought to him. He is sharp, thoughtful and wise.”

Fox News Digital contacted every member of the cabinet and many were quick to respond for this article.

Earlier this year, a report from Biden’s own Department of Justice’s special counsel called him an “elderly man with a poor memory” at the end of an investigation into his mishandling of classified documents dating back to his Senate tenure, which ultimately saved him from having charges brought against him by Special Counsel Robert Hur.

At 81, Biden is the oldest sitting president, and his critics say his age has caught up with him cognitively. If he is re-elected in November, he will be 86 when his second term ends.


Biden has been prone to gaffes going back to when he was vice president, but the frequency and nature of his verbal missteps in recent years appear to be more significant. 

In May, Biden seemed to have a break with reality when he confused the timing of the COVID pandemic by a factor of years when he said, “And when I was vice president, things were kind of bad during the pandemic, and, what happened was Barack said to me: ‘Go to Detroit — and help fix it.’” The pandemic happened years after Biden’s time as vice president.

The president has, on several occasions, referenced dead people as being alive. In 2022, at a White House event, Biden called out former Rep. Jackie Walorski during a speech, “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?” Walorski had died in a car crash the previous month.

At a campaign rally in February, Biden told the audience, “Right after I was elected, I went to a G7 meeting in southern England. And I sat down and said, ‘America is back!’ and Mitterand from Germany — I mean France — looked at me and said, ‘How long you back for?'” Mitterand was president from 1981 to 1995 and died in 1996.

In 2021, Biden claimed he had spoken with the late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who had died in 2017, while recalling past conversations during fundraising events.  

Late Tuesday night, The Wall Street Journal published a report detailing instances in which the president has demonstrated a lack of clarity in private meetings with staff and members of Congress.

Many of those who work most closely with the president are coming forward to say The Wall Street Journal got it all wrong.


President Joe Biden meets with his Cabinet

President Biden, second from right, holds a meeting with his cabinet in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Officials at the highest levels of government echoed Granholm’s sentiment, like Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“I’ve worked for President Biden for 22 years,” Blinken told Fox News Digital. “Now as then — in strategy discussions and in meetings with foreign leaders — his depth of knowledge, fluency with policy and politics and ability to cut to the chase and argue his case are exceptional. He’s invariably one step ahead of us.”


Attorney General Merrick Garland vouched for the president’s mental acuity on domestic issues.

“I have complete confidence in the president,” Garland said. “As a member of the president’s Cabinet and the National Security Council, I have consistently seen firsthand his ability to navigate issues of extraordinary complexity that are of the utmost importance to our national security.

“I have also seen him tackle domestic policy issues, clearly and decisively guiding us through complicated questions to reach results that benefit the American people.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also objected to the assertion that the president is in a state of mental decline, telling Fox News Digital in a statement, “Both in Washington and in meetings with world leaders around the globe — including during strenuous negotiations with President Xi — I’ve always seen President Biden to be extremely well-informed, in command of the facts and very effective in advancing American interests.”

President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland

President Biden arrives with Attorney General Merrick Garland, right, during a Medal of Valor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pushed back on the narrative, too. 

“I strongly disagree with the characterization in the story,” Mayorkas said. “I come fully prepared for my meetings with President Biden, knowing his questions will be detail-oriented, probing and exacting. In our exchanges, the president always draws upon our prior conversations and past events in analyzing the issues and reaching his conclusions.” 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin concurred with Mayorka’s assessment, saying, “As someone who has watched President Biden make tough national security decisions and seen his commitment to keeping our troops safe, I have nothing but total confidence in our commander-in-chief.”

Gina Raimondo, the former Rhode Island governor and current commerce secretary, came out in full support of her boss, saying, “I’ve spent countless hours with President Biden, discussing everything from our strategic competition with China to the technical aspects of the CHIPS for America program, and in every conversation he’s been sharp, focused and insightful. I could not disagree more with the false portrayal of the president in that article. There is nobody I’d rather have leading our country today.”


Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg listens as President Joe Biden speaks

President Biden speaks as Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas listen during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 12, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough also came to Biden’s defense.

“President Biden is not only as sharp and incisive as ever, he’s holding VA accountable every day — he’s holding me accountable every day — to deliver for veterans,” McDonough said, “That article is completely inconsistent with the man I’ve been serving for 12 years.” 

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement, “I have been in dozens of personal and larger meetings with President Biden, and I always note that his ability to simultaneously handle difficult issues is astounding.

“President Biden has always had a depth of understanding of policies at every level and always remembers to bring the policies back to how they are helping the American people.”


Trump and Biden recent split image

Former President Trump and President Biden. (Associated Press )

It is not surprising that President Biden’s most senior advisers are countering the narrative that the president’s mental acuity may be waning. But the talk of his decline started well before the Wall Street Journal article. Former President Trump and his supporters have sustained a long attack on Biden’s cognitive state. Trump has referred to his opponent as “Sleepy Joe” since 2019.

Those attacks may have been effective in shaping public opinion. According to a Pew Research poll released in late April, just 21% of respondents are extremely or very confident in Biden’s mental fitness to act as president, with 16% somewhat confident and 62% having little or no confidence.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

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