Report: Biden Shows Signs of ‘Slipping’ Behind Closed Doors

President Joe Biden, 81, has been struggling behind closed doors during official meetings, according to an in-depth report published Tuesday that described a president in serious cognitive decline.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to more than 45 people — Republicans and Democrats — over several months about these meetings, including to some who said Biden mumbled and spoke so softly people struggled to hear him, closed his eyes for so long people wondered if he had “tuned out,” and had to read from notes to make “obvious points.”

The octogenarian reportedly told House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) a recent policy change was “just a study,” prompting Johnson to believe Biden forgot the details of his own policy. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told the newspaper, “I used to meet with him when he was vice president. I’d go to his house. … He’s not the same person.”

The newspaper said the White House “kept close tabs” on which Democrats they were interviewing, and some of those Democrats shared with the White House recordings or details of the interviews, and requested to speak again and emphasized Biden’s strengths.

One of those Democrats, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), told the WSJ, “They just, you know, said that I should give you a call back.”

During a January 17, 2024, meeting on Ukraine with nearly two dozen lawmakers, much of the conversation reportedly “didn’t include him,” and when questions came directly to him, he would turn to staffers. “You couldn’t be there and not feel uncomfortable,” said one person who attended told the paper. “I’ll just say that.”

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who was there, argued that Biden was “incredibly strong, forceful and decisive.” Sen. James Risch (R-ID), who was also there, disagreed, saying, “What you see on TV is what you get.”

“These people who keep talking about what a dynamo he is behind closed doors—they need to get him out from behind closed doors, because I didn’t see it,” he said.

In the incident with Johnson, Biden reportedly pulled the speaker aside for a chat about what it would take to bring Ukraine aid to the House floor for a vote. Johnson reportedly brought up a new Biden administration policy that halted future permits for shipping LNG to countries while the issue was being studied. Biden told Johnson that it was not true that future permits were being halted, and said it was only a study.

While the White House called the account “false” and said the halt does not affect current exports, no new Energy Department permits for LNG exports have been issued since the policy was announced.

Biden also performed poorly during a May 2023 meeting with Republicans over increasing the debt limit, according to some Republicans there.

“He would ramble,” McCarthy said. “He always had cards. He couldn’t negotiate another way.” McCarthy said Biden did call him one day from Air Force One, and that he was “more with it than any other time.” However, the next day, during a meeting, Biden lacked that same vigor. “He was going back to all the old stuff that had been done for a long time,” McCarthy told the paper. “And he was shocked when I’d say: ‘No, Mr. President. We talked about that meetings ago. We are done with that.’”

During that meeting, Biden reportedly told the same story more than once about his experiences with the DuPont company during his time as a Delaware senator. White House aides pushed back against the characterizations, calling him a “savvy and effective leader,” and “sharp and engaged.”

“Congressional Republicans, foreign leaders and nonpartisan national-security experts have made clear in their own words that President Biden is a savvy and effective leader who has a deep record of legislative accomplishment,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates told the WSJ. “Now, in 2024, House Republicans are making false claims as a political tactic that flatly contradict previous statements made by themselves and their colleagues.”

Still, not much will likely change public perspectives of Biden. In a March WSJ survey of voters in seven battlegrounds states, only 28 percent said Biden was better suited physically and mentally for the presidency, while 48 percent said Trump. And the WSJ noted, there have been few opportunities to see Biden in unscripted moments.

According to the paper, by the end of April, he had given fewer interviews and press conferences than any of his recent predecessors. His last wide-ranging town-hall-style meeting with an independent news outlet was in October 2021 — more than two years ago, the paper noted. Biden is expected to debate former Trump later this month, on June 27.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on ”X”Truth Social, or on Facebook.

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