June 13, 2021
Joe Biden holds a press conference
the G7 summit concludes
Newquay, Cornwall, Britain, June 13, 2021
Reuters / Kevin Lamarque
Conservatives are pessimistic about Joe Biden's upcoming
meeting with Vladimir Putin, after the US leader stumbled
through a speech, mistook Syria for Libya, and falsely
claimed Russia is involved in the Libyan conflict.
"We can work together
with Russia - for example, in Libya.
We should be opening
up the passage to be able to go through, provide food
assistance, and economic... I mean, vital assistance to a
population that's in real trouble," Biden told a press
conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in Cornwall,
England, on Sunday.
The safe passage of refugees and food assistance, as Biden described
them, are issues pertaining to the Syrian civil war, not the Libyan
Though the Obama
administration intervened in both conflicts, arming rebel militias
and waging an air campaign in Syria, and deposing Muammar Gaddafi
in Libya as part of a NATO bombing campaign in 2011, Russia took
part in only one, supporting the government of Bashar Assad and
striking Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) jihadists in Syria.
"By the way, there's
places where..." Biden trailed off, before accusing Russia of
biting off some "serious problems they're going to have trouble
chewing on - for example, the rebuilding of Syria, of Libya."
Biden then called on
Russia to invest in Libya because "they're there," before mistaking
the two countries a third time, again claiming Russia was involved
Biden's meandering and error-riddled speech was hammered by
conservatives, who have persistently claimed the president's mental
acuity is failing.
"I almost didn't make
it through this and it's 94 seconds," pundit Jack Posobiec
tweeted. "I don't know what to
Rumors of cognitive
decline have dogged Biden from the moment he announced his candidacy
for the White House in 2019.
Since he took office,
multiple incidents of the president forgetting the names of his own
officials and losing his train of thought mid-sentence at press
conferences have only intensified the speculation.
And Biden's Syria slipups were not the only hint this weekend that
something might be amiss.
On Friday, he was spotted
wandering around a cafe terrace, looking lost, before First Lady
Jill Biden led him away by the hand as diners laughed out loud.
He was then corrected at
a meeting of world leaders, when he introduced the president of
South Africa after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had
already done so.
The G7 was mostly a friendly affair, and all the leaders involved
spoke glowingly of each other - save for a reported spat over the
sausage trade between UK PM Boris
Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.
However, Biden will need
to have his wits about him when he sits down in Geneva on Wednesday
with Russian President Vladimir Putin - a man he has called a
"killer" and promised to make "pay a price" for alleged but unproven
claims of election interference.
response, the Russian president
wished his counterpart good health and cited a Russian childrens'
insult-deflecting saying along the lines of,
"whatever you say
[about others] is what you are yourself."
'Painful to watch' - Joe Biden apparently Gets
Lost at G7 Summit, wanders into cafe...