Fox News 2024-02-09 06:04:09


Special counsel says Biden ‘willfully retained’ classified docs, blamed ‘poor memory’

Special Counsel Robert Hur will not recommend criminal charges against President Biden for mishandling classified documents, according to his report after a months-long investigation into the president’s alleged improper retention of classified records. 

Hur has been investigating Biden’s improper retention of classified records since last year. Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other records related to national security and foreign policy which Hur said implicated “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” 

“We conclude that no criminal charges are warranted in this matter,” the report states. “We would reach the same conclusion even if the Department of Justice policy did not foreclose criminal charges against a sitting president.”

READ SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT HUR’S FULL REPORT ON BIDEN CLASSIFIED DOCS: PART 1 AND PART 2

The special counsel also described Biden as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” 

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Hur wrote in the report. “Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone from whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him—by then a former president well into his eighties—of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

LIVE: SPECIAL COUNSEL RELEASES REPORT ON BIDEN CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT PROBE

But Hur said his investigation “uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”

The materials included “marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and notebooks containing Mr. Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” 

Hur said FBI agents recovered the materials from “the garages, offices, and basement den in Mr. Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home.” 

But Hur said that the evidence “does not establish Mr. Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” :

“Prosecution of Mr. Biden is also unwarranted based on our consideration of the aggravating and mitigating factors set forth in the Department of Justice’s Principles of Federal Prosecution,” the report states. “For these reasons, we decline prosecution of Mr. Biden.”

GARLAND SAYS SPECIAL COUNSEL PROBING BIDEN CLASSIFIED RECORDS HAS SUBMITTED REPORT, UNDER WHITE HOUSE REVIEW

The White House was given the opportunity to review the report for privilege after Hur initially submitted his report on Feb. 5, and did not seek any redaction to the report. The report was transmitted to Congress Thursday afternoon. 

Damning photos were included in the report — photos that the Biden campaign reportedly feared could have a negative impact on his 2024 re-election bid. 

Classified records were first found inside the Washington, D.C., offices of the Penn Biden Center think tank on Nov. 2, 2022, but only disclosed to the public in early January 2023.

BIDEN CAMP REPORTEDLY FEARS PHOTOS FROM SPECIAL COUNSEL CLASSIFIED DOCS PROBE COULD DEVASTATE REELECTION BID

A second stash of classified documents was also found inside the garage of the president’s home in Wilmington in December, but revealed to the public earlier this month, prompting Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint former U.S. Attorney Rob Hur to serve as special counsel.

Days later, additional classified documents were found in the president’s home in Delaware. The FBI conducted a more than 12-hour search of Biden’s Delaware home Friday, seizing additional classified records.

Biden has defended the storing of classified documents in the past.

“By the way, my Corvette is in a locked garage, so it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street,” he once said.

In a statement after Special Counsel released the report, Biden said he was “pleased to see they reached the conclusion I believed all along they would reach – that there would be no charges brought in this case and the matter is now closed.”

“This was an exhaustive investigation going back more than 40 years, even into the 1970s when I was a young Senator. I cooperated completely, threw up no roadblocks, and sought no delays. In fact, I was so determined to give the Special Counsel what they needed that I went forward with five hours of in-person interviews over two days on October 8th and 9th of last year, even though Israel had just been attacked on October 7th and I was in the middle of handling an international crisis. I just believed that’s what I owed the American people so they could know no charges would be brought and the matter closed,” Biden’s statement continued.

“Over my career in public service, I have always worked to protect America’s security. I take these issues seriously and no one has ever questioned that,” he added.

But Garland, on Nov. 18, 2022, appointed former DOJ official Jack Smith to serve as special counsel to investigate whether Trump was improperly retaining classified records at Mar-a-Lago.

When Smith was appointed to investigate Trump, Garland and top DOJ officials were simultaneously conducting an internal review of President Biden’s mishandling of classified records. That review, and the discovery of classified records at Biden’s office, was not disclosed to the public until January.

BIDEN INTERVIEWED BY SPECIAL COUNSEL ABOUT CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS

Republicans and allies of former President Trump were outraged, blasting the Justice Department for a double standard.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony charges out of Smith’s probe. The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.

Trump, the 2024 GOP front-runner, was then charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment out of Smith’s investigation – an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts. Trump pleaded not guilty.

That trial is set to begin on May 20, 2024. 

Biden’s aides told Axios earlier this week that they are fearful former President Trump’s campaign could use the photos against the Democrat incumbent ahead of their likely 2024 rematch.

COMER DEMANDS ANSWERS ON WHETHER BIDEN CLASSIFIED RECORDS MENTION COUNTRIES RELATED TO FAMILY BUSINESS DEALS

Anthony Coley, a former senior adviser to Garland, accused the Biden team of slow-walking discovery in the president’s classified records case, versus the handling of the Trump probe.

“Against the backdrop of former President Trump’s indictment on charges of willful and deliberate retention of classified documents, the Biden team’s drip, drip, drip of information made the discoveries seem even worse,” he wrote in an op-ed.

Before Hur’s findings were released, reports suggested the Biden campaign was concerned about potentially embarrassing photos included in Hur’s expected report that could be released as soon as this week.

The campaign was concerned that the images would show how Biden stored classified materials. The classified documents were carried over from Biden’s time as former President Obama’s vice president.

Hur interviewed Biden at the White House – an interview that lasted two days. The White House said the president’s interview with Hur was “voluntary.”

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Last year, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who is co-leading the impeachment inquiry against President Biden, began investigating whether the sensitive, classified documents Biden retained involved specific countries or individuals that had financial dealings with Biden family members or their related companies. 

Comer questioned why Biden would have kept certain classified materials and asked Hur to provide his committee with a list of the countries named in any documents with classification markings recovered from Penn Biden Center, Biden’s residence, including the garage, in Wilmington, Delaware, or elsewhere; and a list of all individuals named in those documents with classification markings; and all documents found with classified markings.

It is unclear if Hur cooperated with Comer’s request. 

First lawmaker calls on Biden’s Cabinet to remove him from office after ‘alarming’ report

EXCLUSIVE: Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney is calling for the Cabinet to “explore” the use of the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove President Biden from office, following Special Counsel Robert Hur’s “alarming” report.

Hur did not recommend criminal charges against the president for mishandling classified documents. Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other records related to national security and foreign policy which Hur said implicated “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” 

BIDEN SAYS HIS MEMORY IS ‘FINE,’ HE IS ‘MOST QUALIFIED PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY’ TO BE PRESIDENT

Hur, though, described Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Hur, throughout the more than 300-page report, said “it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him” of a serious felony “that requires a mental state of willfulness,” and said he would be “well into his eighties.”

Fox News Digital obtained a letter Tenney, R-N.Y., sent to Attorney General Garland Thursday night, sharing her “grave concerns” following the report.

“After concluding that President Biden knowingly and willfully removed, mishandled, and disclosed classified documents repeatedly over a period of decades, Mr. Hur nevertheless recommended that charges not be brought against him,” Tenney wrote. “Special Counsel’s reasoning was alarming.”

Tenney added: “He recited numerous instances in which President Biden exhibited dramatically compromised mental faculties and concluded that a jury would be likely to perceive President Biden as a sympathetic and forgetful old man.”

Tenney said she “need not tell you that selective prosecution is morally, ethically, and legally prohibited.”

BIDEN ‘DID NOT REMEMBER WHEN HE WAS VICE PRESIDENT,’ WHEN HIS SON BEAU DIED, DURING SPECIAL COUNSEL INTERVIEWS

“We don’t prosecute or decline to prosecute people based on their personalities, or on the public’s anticipated perception of them,” Tenney wrote. “If Special Counsel finds that the evidence forms a reasonable basis to bring charges, he must do so.”

Tenney said the DOJ “cannot ethically bring charges against former President Trump because he has mental acuity and a forceful personality, and decline to bring charges against President Biden because of his cognitive decline.”

Tenney said Biden “needs to be charged, unless he is not mentally competent to stand trial.”

“Candidly, Special Counsel’s report makes a reasonable case that he is not,” Tenney said. 

“Being unable to remember what position he held, and when, is exceptionally concerning. Being unable to remember when one’s child died – even within a time frame of several years – is perhaps more a more damning reflection of his mental impairment.”

Tenney went on to say that Biden “most seemingly lacks the ability to execute his presidential responsibilities.”

“So it is incumbent upon you to explore proceedings to remove the President pursuant to the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Tenney wrote. “President Biden needs to be charged, or he needs to be removed.”

She added: “There is no middle ground.”

SPECIAL COUNSEL CALLS BIDEN ‘SYMPATHETIC, WELL-MEANING, ELDERLY MAN WITH A POOR MEMORY,’ BRINGS NO CHARGES

The 25th Amendment can be invoked by the Cabinet if the president becomes disabled to such a degree that he cannot fulfill his responsibilities.

Biden, on Thursday night, though, addressed the nation saying his memory is “fine” and defended his re-election campaign, saying he is the “most qualified person in this country to be president.”

“I’m well-meaning, and I’m an elderly man and I know what the hell I’m doing,” Biden said. “I’ve been president. I put this country back on its feet. I don’t need his recommendation.”

Biden added: “My memory is fine.”

During his address, Biden also fired back at Special Counsel Robert Hur for suggesting he did not remember when his son Beau died.

“How dare he raise that?” Biden said. “Frankly, when I was asked a question, I thought to myself, what’s that any of your damn business?”

“Let me tell you something…I swear, since the day he died, every single day…I wear the rosary he got from Our Lady—” Biden stopped, seemingly forgetting where the rosary was from.

Biden became visibly emotional, and declared: “I don’t need anyone—I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away or passed away.” 

Moments later, though, Biden transitioned to discuss the conflict in the Middle East. Biden referred to Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the president of Egypt, as “the president of Mexico.”

TRUMP DEMANDS DOJ ‘IMMEDIATELY’ DROP CHARGES AGAINST HIM IN CLASSIFIED DOCS CASE AFTER BIDEN DECISION

But the president took a barrage of questions from the White House press corps, with some shouting and pressing him on whether he is fit to run for re-election. 

“I’m the most qualified person in this country to be President of the United States,” Biden said, adding that he has to “finish the job I started.” 

Meanwhile, Hur, in the report, said Biden, during his interview with the special counsel’s team, could not remember key details, such as when he was vice president. 

“In his interview with our office, Mr. Biden’s memory was worse,” the report states. “He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 — when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’).”

NO CHARGES FOR BIDEN AFTER SPECIAL COUNSEL PROBE INTO IMPROPER HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS

“He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died,” the report continued. “And his memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him. Among other things, he mistakenly said he ‘had a real difference’ of opinion with General Karl Eikenberry, when, in fact, Eikenberry was an ally whom Mr. Biden cited approvingly in his Thanksgiving memo to President Obama.”

“In a case where the government must prove that Mr. Biden knew he had possession of the classified Afghanistan documents after the vice presidency and chose to keep those documents, knowing he was violating the law, we expect that at trial, his attorneys would emphasize these limitations in his recall,” the report said.

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As for Biden’s memory, prior to the release of the report, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday defended Biden when asked about a gaffe in which the president said he spoke in 2021 with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl — who actually died four years earlier — arguing that misspeaking “happens to all of us, and it is common.” 

That gaffe was similar to the one Biden made on Sunday when he claimed he spoke with François Mitterrand, a French president who died in 1996, at the same G7 meeting.

Former president wins Nevada’s Republican caucuses after state’s primary victory

LAS VEGAS – It was never in doubt, and now it’s official.

Former President Donald Trum easily won Nevada’s Republican presidential caucus, according to a projection from the Associated Press.

The call on Thursday night came quickly after caucus precincts from across the Silver State began reporting results.

The former president, who’s the commanding front-runner for the 2024 nomination as he bids a third straight time for the White House, was the only major candidate on the ballot in a caucus run by the friendly Nevada GOP. And he grabbed all 26 delegates to this summer’s nominating convention that were at stake in the caucus.

“It was tremendous turnout,” Trump told supporters at a caucus victory celebration at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. “The enthusiasm of the turnout…I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it before.”

HALEY CHARGES NEVADA GOP CAUCUS ‘RIGGED’ FOR TRUMP

Standing next to Trump at his victory celebration was North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who ended his own White House bid a couple of months ago. 

Burgum, who’s considered a potential candidate for running mate, told the crowd that “this primary is over. President Trump has won.”

Trump’s win in Nevada came hours after he grabbed roughly three-quarters of the vote for a landside victory in a presidential caucus run the the U.S. Virgin Islands GOP.

The former president also came up a winner on Tuesday, in Nevada’s state-run Republican presidential primary, even though he wasn’t on the ballot.

Trump’s absence from the primary ballot wasn’t enough to provide a path to victory for Nikki Haley – the former president’s last remaining major rival for the 2024 Republican nomination.

The former two-term South Carolina governor who later served as U.N. ambassador in the Trump administration lost on Tuesday to a “none of these candidates” option by a more than two-to-one margin in a primary where no GOP convention delegates were at stake.

Voters casting ballots in the primary couldn’t write in Trump’s name, but they could vote for “none of these candidates.” And Trump supporters Fox News interviewed outside of polling stations said that is how they voted.

The confusion over having two competing contests dates to 2021, when Democrats, who at the time controlled both Nevada’s governor’s office and the legislature, passed a law changing the presidential nominating contest from long-held caucuses to a state-run primary. 

WHAT NIKKI HALEY TOLD FOX DIGITAL ABOUT WHAT SHE NEEDS TO DO TO KEEP RUNNING

The Nevada GOP objected, but last year their legal bid to stop the primary from going forward was rejected. In a twist, the judge in the case allowed the state Republicans to hold their own caucuses. No delegates will be at stake in the Republican primary, while all 26 will be up for grabs in the GOP caucus.

The state GOP ruled that candidates who put their name on the state-run primary ballot could not take part in the caucuses. 

Haley and some of the other now-departed Republican presidential candidates viewed the Nevada GOP as too loyal to Trump and decided to skip a caucus they believed was tipped in favor of the former president.

Nevada GOP chair Michael McDonald and both of the state’s members of the Republican National Committee are supporting Trump.

HALEY, TRUMP, TRADE SHOTS OVER WHO’S STRONGER AGAINST BIDEN

Haley on Wednesday charged that “Nevada – it’s such a scam. They were supposed to have a primary. Trump rigged it so the GOP chairman – who’s been indicted – would go and create a caucus.”

“We knew that it was rigged from the start,” Haley argued in separate interviews with Fox News Digital and with FOX 11 Los Angeles while campaigning in southern California.

McDonald, responding, claimed that Haley “is not a real serious candidate.”

“The fact of the matter is she didn’t show up. She did not campaign in Nevada and neither did ‘none of the above’ and ‘none of the above’ won,” the Nevada GOP chair told Fox News Digital.

While the GOP presidential candidates had to choose either the caucus or primary ballot, registered Republicans in Nevada can vote in both contests.

Trump’s campaign worked to get the message out to supporters in Nevada that if they want to vote for the former president, they need to show up at the caucuses.

HALEY APPLIES FOR SECRET SERVICE PROTECTION ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

“Your primary vote doesn’t mean anything. It’s your caucus vote,” Trump said at a rally in Las Vegas late last month. “So in your state, you have both the primary and you have a caucus. Don’t worry about the primary, just do the caucus thing.”

Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who is supporting Trump, told the Nevada Independent last month that he would vote for “none of these candidates” in the primary, and would caucus for Trump in the state GOP’s contest.

While her name was on the ballot, Haley ignored the Nevada primary.

Haley didn’t campaign in Nevada ahead of the primary and hasn’t been in the state since speaking in late October at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership conference.

“We knew months ago that we weren’t going to spend a day or a dollar in Nevada, because it wasn’t worth it. And so we didn’t even count Nevada. That wasn’t anything we were looking at,” Haley emphasized on Wednesday.

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As the vote count continued on Tuesday night, the former president took to his Truth Social network to take aim at Haley.

“A bad night for Nikki Haley. Losing by almost 30 points in Nevada to “None of These Candidates.” Watch, she’ll soon claim Victory!” he argued.

Haley, looking ahead, reiterated that “our focus is on South Carolina, Michigan, Super Tuesday.”

South Carolina’s next up in the GOP presidential nominating calendar, with a primary on Feb. 24. Michigan holds its primary three days after the South Carolina. Fifteen states, including the behemoths of California and Texas, hold contests a week later, on Super Tuesday.

Haley’s two campaign stops on Wednesday in California were her first to date in any of the Super Tuesday states. And the swing to the Golden State appears in part to be a marker for Haley as she pushes back against calls by some Republicans to drop out of the race and give up her uphill climb for the nomination. 

The trip also included a series of fundraisers. And as Fox News Digital first reported on Wednesday, Haley hauled in $1.7 million in fundraising during her two days in California.

This week’s contests are just an appetizer for Nevada, which as a key general election battleground state will see plenty of campaign traffic this summer and autumn.

And the Democratic National Committee spotlighted Trump’s 2016 and 2020 general election losses in Nevada.

“Nobody knows how to lose Nevada like Donald Trump – his back to back losses in 2016 and 2020 made him the first Republican in decades to lose the state twice,” DNC rapid response director Alex Floyd pointed out in a statement.

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

‘Star Trek’ actor goes off on Larry David in explicit rant for assaulting Elmo on live TV

Wil Wheaton slammed Larry David as “tone deaf,” two days after the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” creator grabbed Elmo’s face and throttled the Muppet on the “Today Show.”

“So I heard about Larry David assaulting Elmo on life television, but didn’t watch it until now, because I knew it would upset me,” the “Star Trek: Next Generation” actor wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.

“Holy s— it’s even worse than I thought. What the f— is wrong with that guy? Elmo is, like, the best friend to multiple generations of children. In the Sesame Street universe, ELMO IS A CHILD, who is currently putting mental health and caring for others in the spotlight. And Larry F—–g David … did … that? And thought it was going to be … funny? What?

“What an a——. What a stupid, self-centered, tone deaf a——.”

LARRY DAVID DEFENDS BEATING UP ELMO DURING ‘TODAY’ SHOW: ‘I WOULD DO IT AGAIN

The viral moment occurred when Elmo appeared on the “Today” show Feb. 1, speaking about mental health after an X post the puppet wrote asking people how they were feeling also went viral.

As Elmo’s segment was ending, David, who was waiting for his own interview about the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” ran out and shook the puppet’s face then ran off.

“Mr. Larry, Elmo liked you before!” the 3½-year-old Muppet said as David raced off screen. “Let’s get back on the couch and let’s talk about how you’re feeling!”

The “Today” co-hosts watched in shock. 

“Larry, you’ve gone too far this time,” Savannah Guthrie told David.

“Somebody had to do it,” he replied. 

David apologized to Elmo at the top of his own segment, barely getting through it as he laughed hysterically.

‘THE VIEW’ ERUPTS OVER LARRY DAVID’S ATTACK ON ELMO, JOY BEHAR DEFENDS COMEDIAN FROM ‘ANGRY’ COLLEAGUES

Wheaton wasn’t laughing in his post. He explained that his reaction to David’s joking attack was colored by abuse from his father as a child.

“Full disclosure: all the time, when I was growing up, my dad would grab me by the shoulders and shake me while he screamed in my face,” Wheaton wrote. “He choked me more than once. He was always out of control, always in a furious rage, and always terrifying. I’m a 51 year-old man and my heart is pounding right now, recalling how I felt when I was a little boy who loved Grover the way today’s kids love Elmo.” 

He called David’s attack on Elmo an “appalling, unforgivable, despicable act,” adding that his “obviously insincere ‘apology’ clearly communicates that you don’t get that.” 

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“First of all, you aren’t even in the segment, but you just decided to barge in and draw focus because … why?” Wheaton wrote. “You couldn’t stand that a puppet brought people together in a meaningful way that you can’t? You couldn’t stand that your appearance on national television to promote your wildly successful series was delayed for a few seconds while the adults talked about mental health? 

“You wanted to manufacture a viral moment where everyone gets to see what an a—— you are, so they’ll tune in and watch you portray an a—— in the last season of your show that celebrates how great it is to be an a—— without ever experiencing the consequences of being an a——?”

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Wheaton went on for several more paragraphs, telling David to “read the room.” 

He finished his post by writing, “A man who would belittle and mock [Elmo’s positive influence] isn’t much of a man at all. Shame on you, Larry David.”

David defended the attack while on “Late Night with Seth Myers.”

“Elmo was talking, OK? I was waiting to be interviewed, and Elmo — he was going on about mental health, and I had to listen to every word,” he said, using a high-pitched voice to mock the puppet.

“And I was going, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, I don’t think I can take another second of this!’” 

Returning to his normal voice, he yelled, “And so I got off my chair, and I approached him and I throttled him!

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“And you know what? I would do it again.”

A rep for Wheaton told Fox News Digital he had no additional comment. Fox News Digital has reached out to a rep for David for comment.  

Biden confuses two world leaders just moments after defending his ‘fine’ memory

President Biden drew immediate online reaction after once again confusing the names of foreign political leaders, this time while trying to emphasize his mental fitness.

The president gave a brief address to the nation from the White House Thursday night where he took a barrage of questions from reporters regarding concerns over his age and memory stemming from Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden’s handling of classified documents. Shortly after insisting that his memory was “fine,” Biden proceeded to refer to Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.”

“As you know, initially, the president of Mexico Sisi [sic] did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in [to Gaza]. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate,” the president said.

The irony of this mix-up coming right after Biden defended his memory struck many social media users.

CONSERVATIVES RIP BIDEN AFTER CLASSIFIED DOCS PROBE DOESN’T CHARGE HIM, CITING ‘POOR MEMORY’: ’25TH AMENDMENT’

“He got the president of Mexico to open the gate for refugees from Gaza? Dear God. Whoever thought this was a good idea should be fired,” America First Policy Institute communications officer Marc Lotter wrote.

New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser exclaimed, “Yeesh. ‘President of Mexico’ Sisi. Bad for Biden in an appearance meant to dispel concerns about his age. What a year this day has been.”

“So Sisi is the president of Mexico,” New York Post columnist John Podhertz joked.

North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop summarized, “If this speech was meant to assuage voters’ concerns about his age and mental state, it failed miserably. It was hard to watch.”

“Yeah, he really nailed the bit when he called el-Sisi the president of Mexico,” Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Chuck Ross said in response to New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait saying, “That is a pretty effective performance by Biden.”

“This is the danger of a live press conference denying problems with mental acuity. Pres. Biden just referred to the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi as the president of Mexico,” RealClearPolitics correspondent Susan Crabtree explained.

Conservative commentator Viva Frei wrote, “It seems @POTUS thinks he’s been negotiating with the President of Mexico to allow aid in to Gaza. What a way to show Putin and the world that he is not a demented and incompetent old man.”

“Disaster presser for Joe Biden just now. He said his memory is fine then confused the leaders of Mexico and Egypt. He’s lost it. This is hard to watch. Legit 25th amendment time. Not sure he can make it 11 more months to finish his term,” Outkick founder Clay Travis declared.

BIDEN CLASSIFIED DOCS REPORT BRINGS NO CRIMINAL CHARGES, BUT ENOUGH TO INVOKE 25TH AMENDMENT: CRITICS

When reached for a comment, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates referred Fox News Digital to a post from The Atlantic staff writer Yair Rosenberg.

“Biden has gaffed names his entire career. In 2008, he introduced his running mate as ‘the next president of the United States, Barack America.’ He was clearly talking about Egypt, named Sisi, and laid out his policy and the broader issues in detail. Twitter just isn’t interested,” Rosenberg wrote, along with a video of House Speaker Mike Johnson mixing up Israel and Iran on Sunday.

The address came just hours after Special Counsel Robert Hur released his report, which did not recommend criminal charges against the president for mishandling classified documents. Those records included classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, among other records related to national security and foreign policy which Hur said implicated “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”

Hur, though, described Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Hur, throughout the more than 300-page report, said “it would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him” of a serious felony “that requires a mental state of willfulness,” and said Biden would be “well into his eighties” by then.

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The gaffe was also the third time this week that Biden had publicly confused the names of world leaders. On Sunday, he claimed to have met with François Mitterrand, a French president who died in 1996, at his first Group of Seven (G7) meeting in 2021. On Wednesday, Biden recalled speaking with the late German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, despite Kohl dying in 2017, at that same G7 meeting.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Fun Bahamas vacation quickly turned into terrifying nightmare for two Kentucky moms

What was supposed to be a fun, kid-free vacation to the Bahamas became a nightmare trip of survival for two Kentucky moms

Lifelong friends Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson were allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted when they stopped on Grand Bahama Island during a Carnival cruise, according to news outlets.

They sipped cocktails that they got from the resort during their stop on Grand Bahama Island and went out to the beach to find seashells for their kids, they told LEX 18. 

“After the first drink, we had to get out of the office because we noticed it was just hitting so hard. I felt so out of it,” Dobson told “Good Morning America.” Then they lost consciousness. 

EXCLUSIVE: MILITARY VET ‘CRAZY ED’ TAKES DOWN WOULD-BE THIEF ON VIDEO DAYS AFTER SAVING MAN’S LIFE

That was when members of the Freeport resort staff allegedly sexually assaulted the two women, they said on “Good Morning America.”

“I vaguely remember glimpses of his face,” Dobson said. “I don’t remember everything. I remember enough that he was a staff worker, he had a goatee, and he was a local.”

VIRGINIA COP’S MURDER AND ARSON ‘CATFISHING’ SCHEME SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED, $50M LAWSUIT SAYS

Their toxicology results came back with a mix of drugs in their systems. 

The Royal Bahama Police Force said in a Feb. 4 statement that they arrested two men – ages 54 and 40 – in connection with the alleged sexual assault. Their names were not released. 

“Active police investigations continue into this matter,” the Royal Bahama Police Force said. 

One of the survivor’s parents said in a GoFundMe post that they were video chatting from the beach the morning of the alleged attack. 

“They were having a drink and enjoying themselves, but they seemed off. I thought it was probably just the connection or me,” Frankie King, the fundraiser’s organizer, said in the post. 

“Barely an hour later, I received the most horrifying text of my life, ‘Call us now we’ve been drugged and raped.’”

WARNING FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS AS SEXUAL ASSAULTS HIT NEW HIGH IN 2023: FBI

It was a long wait for their family members, according to the GoFundMe post. “A parent’s worst nightmare.”

However, they finally returned to the United States, where they learned the Department of State issued a level two travel advisory to the Bahamas because of high crime. 

“The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands,” according to the state department warning, which mentioned spikes in violent crimes like armed robberies and sexual assaults because of gang activity. 

“We didn’t know there was a travel advisory until four hours after we were raped,” the women told local news outlet LEX 18, adding they were never made aware of the advisory before the trip.

They are both receiving medical care at home in Kentucky, which includes thousands of dollars in preventative care, including HIV prevention, LEX 18 reported. 

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“We want justice for what happened to us. We want to raise awareness for others,” Shearer said. “Be safe. Two is not a group. Do not buy any drinks that come unless they come in a sealed container, in a bottle.”

‘Charmed’ cast chooses sides as Shannen Doherty-Alyssa Milano feud hits boiling point

The “Charmed” cast feud is still brewing, decades after the show first premiered.

The turmoil behind the scenes of the hit show, starring actresses Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs, has been overshadowing the success of the series, with Doherty and Milano’s issues coming to a head in recent months. 

As a result, Combs and Rose McGowan, who later joined the show, have taken sides.

Doherty and Combs rehashed the drama on Doherty’s podcast in December. Doherty said any narrative that she quit “Charmed” was not her own. Combs said a producer told her Milano threatened to sue the show if Doherty wasn’t fired.

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“[The producer] said, ‘We’ve been backed into this corner,'” Combs recounted. “He said, ‘You know, we’re basically in a position where it’s one or the other. We were told it was ‘her or me,’ and Alyssa has threatened to sue us for a hostile workplace environment.'”

Last week, Milano gave her take when asked about working with McGowan at MegaCon Orlando. McGowan joined the cast after Doherty’s character was killed off in season 3 and has said in the past Milano made the set difficult.

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“So, I’m just gonna address it because I feel like if you can live with a certain amount of honesty and integrity, then you all deserve that. But I wanna be thoughtful,” Milano said in a video shared online. “I don’t want to add on to anyone else’s pain, because I don’t think that’s cool, either. So, I will just say that I’m sad.”

“I’m the most sad that a show that has meant so much to so many people has been tarnished by a toxicity that is still to this day, almost a quarter of a century later, still happening,” she said. “When I think back to that time, it was hard for me. … And I have worked super hard in my life, in the last 25 years, to heal all of my trauma. And that’s not, just, you know, the trauma that I experienced while shooting.”

“I understand that hurt people hurt people,” she added. “I think (I’ve) been very upfront and taken accountability for and apologized for whatever part I played in the situation. And I’ve been very forthcoming about that. And so I don’t know how else to fix it.”

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She later doubled down in an Instagram post, writing, “Any retelling of these stories from anyone is just revisionist history.”

Two days later, at the same event, Doherty was on stage with Combs and McGowan and slammed Milano’s assessment. 

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“Holly and I, we were not mean on the podcast. … In fact, we went in and edited out anything that we thought would cause more drama. We simply told the truth because the truth actually does matter. But we wanted to try to save you, the fans, from heartbreak, as much as humanly possible,” she said, getting emotional in a fan-recorded video.

“There is no revisionist history in the truth that I know we told. … What somebody else may call trauma is an actual trauma for me that I have lived with for an extremely long time. And it is only through my battle with cancer that I decided to address this trauma and be open and honest about it, so I could actually heal from a livelihood that was taken away from me; a livelihood that was taken away from my family because someone else wanted to be No. 1 on the call sheet.”

Days later, Combs decided to clear the air and give the world her perspective. 

“In the spirit of not being the quiet one or the middle child anymore, I feel the need to defend myself after the many continuing attacks that have ensued since Alyssa stepped out on the stage and essentially called Shannen and I liars when she was simply asked what it was like to work with Rose,” Combs wrote to Instagram

“Suffice to say I’m a little shocked and a little disappointed especially by the things she posted the next day while texting me simultaneously words to the contrary. Sadly that’s not surprising anymore.

“First off, this is not revisionist history. This is just the history she didn’t want people to know about. And the history Shannen wasn’t ready to talk about until one month ago. We are all thankfully at the age where people are writing books, memories and telling their life story. No one should have to lie about their own life for the comfort of another. Although I have long wanted the girls to just get along for the sake of something bigger than all of us combined, it was not in the cards. Clearly.”

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“I heard that Alyssa said she did not have the power to fire anyone, which is ironic because this was actually all about power,” Combs explained. “There was a case being built, which is now clear. A case Alyssa and Alyssa alone had the power to stop and when the producers said, ‘OK, we will let Shannen go, Alyssa also had the power to say, ’No, I don’t want that.’

“But she did not. She had the power to say no just as Shannen had said, ‘No, I don’t want you to replace Alyssa’ when posed with the same option. Because she was a child actor who supported a family just as Alyssa does and understood the great importance and responsibility of that.”

Combs added the hashtag “#sorrynotsorry,” the title of Milano’s 2021 memoir.

McGowan commented on the post, seeming to agree with Doherty’s explanation.

“I love what the show has meant to people worldwide,” McGowan said. “Sometimes, a mess has to be made for things to be cleaned up. This for me is way bigger than a TV show. It goes to years of continuous behind-the-scenes character assassination and targeted reputation smearing because of narcissistic pathological jealousy. 

“I wish none of it had to be this way. I remain proud of everyone involved for the magic we wove and the magic created worldwide. Truth is uncomfortable, but magic never dies.”

Hawaii’s highest court rules Second Amendment rights do not extend to citizens in state

Hawaii’s highest court on Wednesday ruled that Second Amendment rights as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court do not extend to Hawaii citizens, citing the “spirit of Aloha.”

In the ruling, which was penned by Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Todd Eddins, the court determined that states “retain the authority to require” individuals to hold proper permits before carrying firearms in public. The decision also concluded that the Hawaii Constitution broadly “does not afford a right to carry firearms in public places for self defense,” further pointing to the “spirit of Aloha” and even quoting HBO’s TV drama “The Wire.”

“Article I, section 17 of the Hawaii Constitution mirrors the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the Hawaii Supreme Court decision states. “We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court. We hold that in Hawaii there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.”

“The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities,” it adds. “The history of the Hawaiian Islands does not include a society where armed people move about the community to possibly combat the deadly aims of others.”

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The court’s opinion further says the state government’s policies curbing certain gun-carry rights have “preserved peace and tranquility in Hawaii.”

“A free-wheeling right to carry guns in public degrades other constitutional rights,” it concludes. “The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, encompasses a right to freely and safely move in peace and tranquility.”

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In addition, the Hawaii Supreme Court notes a quote from HBO’s “The Wire,” that “the thing about the old days, they the old days.” The court’s opinion states that it “makes no sense” for contemporary society to pledge allegiance to “the founding era’s culture, realities, laws, and understanding of the Constitution.”

The case dates to December 2017, when Hawaii citizen Christopher Wilson was arrested and charged with improperly holding a firearm and ammunition in West Maui. The firearm Wilson was arrested carrying was unregistered in Hawaii, and he never obtained or applied for a permit to own the gun. He told police officers that the firearm was purchased in 2013 in Florida.

Wilson argued in court that the charges brought against him violated the Second Amendment. But, according to The Reload, the Hawaii high court explicitly rejected the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment in 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller and 2022’s New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which both held that there is a constitutionally protected right to carry firearms.

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“This is a landmark decision that affirms the constitutionality of crucial gun-safety legislation,” Democratic Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez said Wednesday. “Gun violence is a serious problem, and commonsense tools like licensing and registration have an important role to play in addressing that problem.”

“More broadly, Justice Eddins’ thoughtful and scholarly opinion for the court provides an important reminder about the crucial role that state courts play in our federal system,” Lopez added. “We congratulate our friends and partners at the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Maui for their work on this important case.”

Longhorns name starting quarterback with all eyes on football scion Arch Manning

The Texas Longhorns returned to national prominence in Steve Sarkisian’s third season in Austin, and they’ll have the quarterback who brought them to the College Football Playoff as they head into the SEC. 

Quinn Ewers will be the guy under center when the Longhorns kick off their 2024 season, meaning highly touted recruit Arch Manning has another year of waiting in the wings. 

“Quinn’s our starter,” Sarkisian said Wednesday.  

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Ewers was eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft but chose to return for his junior season. 

“I think it was big for Quinn,” Sarkisian said of Ewers returning for another season. “I think [it was] pretty easy to see from the naked eye the development that Quinn made from year one to year two. I don’t think that Quinn was a finished product yet. And I think there is plenty of room for growth and improvement and development in his game going into year three. 

“And I think, naturally, when you get into the College Football Playoff and you look at the team that beat us, that was a sixth-year senior quarterback [Michael Penix Jr.] that played at a really high level in that game. I do think his experience, his maturity are all going to be things that he can benefit from. We’re going to need his leadership.” 

Sarkisian praised Manning’s progress in his freshman season, saying he showed a lot of growth in the second half of the year. 

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“I think Arch has got an extremely bright future,” Sarkisian said. “We’re very fortunate to have him on our roster. He’s got great leadership skills, got a great skill set. So, those two guys are going to be big for us next fall.”

Manning, the nephew of NFL legends Eli and Peyton Manning, saw limited playing time during his freshman season. He made his Texas debut late in the year against Texas Tech, completing two of five passing attempts. 

Before the matchup against Washington in the Sugar Bowl, and prior to Ewers announcing his return to Texas, Manning shut down any chance of the idea that he would transfer. 

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“Obviously, there’s always rumors, especially nowadays, but I haven’t looked into transferring at all,” Manning said. “I’m just focused on developing and helping this team any way I can and hopefully one day playing for the University of Texas, like I’ve always wanted to.”

Texas will compete in the SEC next season after winning the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2009. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report