President Joe Biden said again this week that he’s recently spoken to another deceased European Union (EU) leader.
Biden told a crowd of donors in New York on Wednesday that he had recently spoken to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl — who has been dead for seven years — during a Group of Seven (G7) summit 2021, in an apparent mix-up with former Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to Bloomberg. Biden made a similar mistake when he said Sunday that he had met with French President François Mitterrand at the G7 summit, who has been dead for almost three decades.
“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.
Biden then attended another New York fundraising event later on Wednesday and repeated the same story, once again appearing to mix up Kohl with Merkel. Earlier in the week, Biden made another mix-up during a campaign speech in Las Vegas when he said he had recently spoken to former French President François Mitterrand, who has been dead since 1996.
— La Gazette (@gazette_fr) February 6, 2024
“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 White House refused to address questions on Wednesday about Biden’s comments regarding his recent interaction with Mitterrand.
Concerns about Biden’s mental and physical fitness have continued to rise during his tenure as president; 61% of voters said that Biden’s fitness is a “major concern” for them going into the 2024 presidential election in November, according to an NBC News poll conducted in January. Biden has made several confusing or has appeared dazed during public appearances in 2024 alone.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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