United States President Joe Biden referred to Egypt’s president as “the president of Mexico” on Thursday in a blunder that came shortly after he hit back at a special counsel’s claim that his memory is in decline.
Speaking about the Israel-Hamas war at a press conference, the octogenarian head of state said it was his view that “the conduct of the response” to Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 “has been over the top.”
He then referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as “the president of Mexico.”
“As you know, initially the president of Mexico Sisi did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in [to the Gaza Strip.] I talked to him, I convinced him to open the gate,” Biden said.
The U.S. president didn’t immediately acknowledge his mistake or appear to realize he had made one.
The focus on his flub was amplified because he called his press conference to respond to a report by Special Counsel Robert K. Hur, in which Hur presented his decision not to file criminal charges against the U.S. president for allegedly mishandling classified documents while describing him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Asked about that assessment, Biden responded, “I’m well-meaning and I’m an elderly man and I know what the hell I’m doing and I’m president and I put this country back on its feet. … My memory is fine.”
Biden most recently spoke to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in a call last Saturday, during which the two leaders discussed challenges at the Mexico-U.S. border, but presumably didn’t delve into the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Migration to the United States via Mexico is a key concern of the U.S. president, and perhaps for that reason — as the newspaper El Financiero said in a headline — he can’t get AMLO out of his mind.
Mexico News Daily