White House calls Biden viral clips ‘misinformation’

Video caption, White House rejects Biden’s ‘freeze’ claim

  • Author, Sam Cabral
  • Role, BBC News, Washington

The White House has accused “right-wing critics” of selectively editing videos as part of a “misinformation” campaign aimed at questioning President Joe Biden’s mental state.

In the most recent incident, Mr Biden’s opponents claimed he experienced a moment of confusion that forced Barack Obama to remove him from the stage at a weekend fundraiser.

The White House shared other footage that it said showed Mr Biden just pausing to listen to the applause.

The mental acuity of Mr. Biden, 81, and his 78-year-old challenger, Donald Trump, has come under scrutiny as the race for the White House heats up.

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, President Biden at fundraiser with Barack Obama on Saturday

Opinion polls, however, indicate that Mr. Biden’s age and ability are attracting far more attention from voters.

“That tells you everything we need to know about the desperation of the Republicans here,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Monday’s daily press briefing.

She told reporters that “these manipulated videos [are] done in bad faith.”

The White House representative was responding to a question about a gala hosted by Mr. Biden in Los Angeles on Saturday evening.

The event was headlined by George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Julia Roberts and late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel.

Conservative media outlets shared a clip of Mr Biden standing on stage, before Mr Obama extended his arm and they left together.

The New York Post reported that Mr Biden “appeared frozen” at the end of the event and “had to be led off the stage” by Mr Obama.

Trump shared the clip on his platform, Truth Social, commenting: “Is this really who you want to be your president?

But the president’s allies pointed to longer clips showing Mr. Biden smiling and seemingly captivated by the crowd’s applause.

Ms. Jean-Pierre said the incident showed that Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden “have a relationship. They are friends. They are like family to each other.”

The White House press secretary also criticized the Post’s recent framing of another Biden clip.

The newspaper reported last week that the president “started drifting away during a skydiving protest” in Italy on Thursday, while other G7 leaders “had to bring him back to focus.”

But British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Telegraph that the US president was just “very polite and he went and spoke to all the citizens”. [the parachute jumpers] Individually,” before Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told him they would all line up for a handshake.

A clip of the interaction widely shared on X, formerly Twitter, is accompanied by a note from the community, pointing out that the video was cropped.

Biden’s allies have meanwhile seized on viral clips of Trump to claim that it is the Republican candidate who lacks mental lucidity.

Mr. Biden, a Democrat, is preparing to face Trump in his first televised debate of the year later this month. The White House elections will take place in November.

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