White House Furious Over ‘Bad Faith’ Viral Clips Showing Biden’s Mental Decline

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 18, 2024

The White House, through press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, has become irate about viral videos being shared online that reportedly document President Joe Biden’s mental decline.

Jean-Pierre accused the clips of being “bad faith” and selectively edited, asserting they show the desperation of Republicans to defeat Joe Biden in November.

Weekend Fundraiser

The most recent incident of a clip of Biden going viral for reportedly showing failures in mental acuity happened over the past weekend.

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President Joe Biden speaking at a public event, gesturing with his hand, with a blurred background

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

In the clip, Biden is shown to “freeze up” while on stage with former president Barrack Obama. Obama then grabs Biden by the hand and leads him off stage.

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Viral Video

This video of Biden “freezing” up on stage was shared across multiple accounts on X, garnering millions of views.

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A tweet showing the viral video of Obama and Biden on stage.

Source: @nwipatriots/X

“The Left and the media (but I repeat myself) are working overtime trying to debunk this- claiming that Obama didn’t lead Biden off stage. Unfortunately for them, it’s literally on video. Would be a shame if this went viral again,” wrote the X account Libs of TikTok on Monday, which has over 3 million followers.

Slamming the Videos

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized the viral videos of Biden as being manipulated during a press briefing on Monday.

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a photo of white house press secretary Jean-Pierre.

Source: Kevin Dietsch/Unsplash

“These manipulated videos [are] done in bad faith,” said Jean-Pierre. “It tells you everything that we need to know about how desperate Republicans are here.”

Mental Acuity

The issue of mental acuity of the current run of presidential candidates has become a big one in voters’ minds ahead of the election given the age of these candidates. Joe Biden is 81 and his opponent Donald Trump is 78 years old.

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A closeup shot at Joe Biden’s hands as he holds a pen.

Source: The White House/Wikimedia

An AP-NORC poll in March found that as many as 6 in 10 Americans are “not very or not at all” confident in Biden’s mental ability to serve as president of the United States.

AP Fact Check

In the wake of the recent video of Biden being shared online, the Associated Press did a “fact check” which described the incident as a mere pause by Biden to try to hear what the event attendees were shouting at him, citing testimony from an anonymous source.

Joe Biden in a blue suit in front of the American flag.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

“CLAIM: Biden froze onstage during his fundraiser in Los Angeles on Saturday night and had to be led away by Obama. THE FACTS: Biden paused amid cheers and applause as he exited the stage with his predecessor following an interview moderated by late-night host Kimmel,” said Melissa Goldin of the AP late Monday.

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Not Buying It

On X, a post criticizing the Associated Press fact-check got nearly 100,000 views within a few hours.

President Joe Biden seated at a desk, signing a document with a pen, against a backdrop of an ornate room with paintings

Source: POTUS/X

“HOLY SHLIT. @AP just “fact-checked” the “claim” that President Biden froze on stage. They cited an anonymous source plus a spokesman for Jimmy Kimmel…Even though we literally have the video,” said X account End Wokeness which has over 2 million followers.

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Criticizing Jean-Pierre

A clip of press secretary Jean-Pierre describing the viral Biden clips as “deep fakes” also went viral with nearly three million viewers in an X post by user End Wokeness where the clip is criticized.

President Joe Biden speaking into a microphone, with Kamala Harris and Mike Johnson sitting behind him, during the 2024 State of the Union address.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

“Instead of talking about the president’s performance in office, and by that I mean his legislative wins…we are seeing these deep fakes, these manipulated videos,” said Jean-Pierre in the clip.

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Too Many Clips

Some commenters online feel like the excuse that all these clips are selectively edited and “faked” seems improbable when there are so many out there.

A tweet showing a video montage of Biden gaffes.

Source: @usecommonsenses/X

“How about the not-so-recent clips? Deepfakes too?” wrote one X user who posted a three-minute montage of several clips showing Biden’s apparent mental deficiencies.

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Conservative News Outlets

In addition to going viral on social media, conservative news outlets like the New York Post also picked up the story.

The logo for the Republican Party in the United States.

Source: Republican Party/Wikimedia

“President Biden appeared to freeze up on stage and had to be led off by Barack Obama at the conclusion of a star-studded campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles Saturday night…As the men stood for applause, Biden’s gaze seemed to become fixed on the crowd for a full 10 seconds until former President Barack Obama took his wrist and led him offstage,” wrote Chris Nesi of the New York Post.

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Trump Weighs In

This viral moment and opportunity to rib his presidential rival did not pass Donald Trump by. In a Truth Social post, Trump boosted the attention of the clip to his followers. “Is this really who you want to be your President?” Trump wrote above the viral Obama-Biden clip. 

Donald Trump speaking and pointing his finger.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“The “shadow President” has to assist the Resident off stage,” wrote a Truth Social user in response.

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A Fight Over Facts

The fight over whether these clips show deficient mental acuity of Biden has become a fierce debate online. Biden supporters accuse conservative figures and media outlets of intentionally editing the clips to spin a false narrative.

A person in a light blue dress shirt using a pen to write on paper.

Source: Scott Graham/Unsplash

Biden critics see the attempts by mainstream media outlets to “clean up” the story every time a new Biden clip goes viral also as a false narrative. The struggle to paint the other side as mentally deficient seems like it will continue toward election day as the pressure and stakes continue going up for each political group.

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