Biden Brought Up Beau's Death in Interview, Not Special Counsel, Report Says

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February 14, 2024

President Joe Biden, not investigators, was the one who brought up the death of his son Beau in his interview with a special counsel, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Although Biden in a Thursday press conference claimed Special Counsel Robert Hur had asked him in his October interview when Beau Biden passed away, it was the president who brought up his son's 2015  death, according to NBC, which cited two sources familiar with the interview. Hur had asked Biden about the period between 2016 and 2018, which prompted Biden to attempt to recall events that happened around that time, getting the date of Beau Biden's death, May 30, correct, but missing the year.

Hur asked Biden questions related to his son's death, including some about the president's memoir that mentioned it and his work with a cancer initiative he founded in his son's memory, per NBC. It was Biden, however, who brought up the year of the death.

The report appears to contradict the account Biden gave at a press conference last week addressing the report.

"I know there's some attention paid to some language in the report about my recollection of events," Biden said. "There's even reference that I don't remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that? Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself, it wasn’t any of their damn business."

Democrats slammed Hur upon the report's release for his inclusion of details such as the claim that Biden did not "remember, within several years, when his son Beau died" and that he did not remember when his term as vice president began and ended. Some suggested that Hur—a Republican whom Biden's attorney general, Merrick Garland, appointed to conduct the investigation—threw them in as a partisan attack.

First lady Jill Biden in a fundraising email she has sent out multiple times in the past week suggested Hur tried "to use our son's death to score political points."

Hur issued the report last week in which he announced that there was evidence that Biden willfully mishandled classified documents, but Hur did not recommend prosecuting the president. One reason the special counsel cited was Biden's memory issues, which led Hur to predict Biden would "present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."