Joe Biden was his bumbling self on Wednesday.
While attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the U.S. President walked into a giant flag and appeared to anger Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by not shaking his hand and walking off the stage following a joint speech on workers’ rights.
During a speech by Lula, the 80-year-old Biden was having trouble keeping a translation device in his ear.
“Can you hear me, President Biden? This is a historic moment for Brazil and for the U.S.,” the Brazilian leader asked.
After Biden didn’t respond, Lula again asked if he could hear him.
Biden nodded yes, but his earpiece continued to give him trouble as he fumbled to put it back into his ear.
At the end of the joint speech, Biden and Lula shook hands with International Labour Organization Director-General Gilbert Houngbo, but the U.S. President turned away from his Brazilian counterpart, who had his hand out ready to shake, waived at the attendees and shuffled off the stage.
Lula appeared visibly irritated by the apparent snub, making a swiping gesture with his right arm as he turned away.
Also Wednesday, the U.S. President repeated the same story — nearly word for word — about his decision to run for president in 2020 at a campaign reception in Manhattan.
Biden recounted the August 2017 events of Charlottesville, Va.
“You remember those folks walking out of the fields literally carrying torches, with Nazi swastikas, holding them forward, singing the same vicious, anti-Semitic bile — the same exact bile — bile that was sung in — in Germany in the early ’30s,” he said, the New York Post reported, according to an official White House transcript.
“And a young woman was killed. A young woman was killed.”
Biden recounted the reaction his predecessor, Donald Trump, had when asked what he thought would happen.
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“He was the sitting president. And he said, ‘I thought there were some very fine people on both sides.’ And I mean this sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, that’s when I decided I — I was going to run again.”
Biden said his extended family urged him to challenge Trump, and then began to repeat the same story.
“You know, you may remember that, you know, those folks from Charlottesville, as they came out of the fields and carrying those swastikas, and remember the ones with the torches and the Ku — accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. And in addition to that, they had — there were white supremacists. Anyway, they were making the big case about how terrible this was. And a young woman was killed in the process.
“And my predecessor, as I said, was asked what he thought. He said, ‘There are some very fine people on both sides.’ Well, that kept ringing in my head.”
This is the latest in a long list of recent gaffes by the U.S. President, who is facing concerns over his fitness to run for president again next year.
Earlier this month, Biden gave a rambling press briefing in Vietnam.
When the line of questioning turned toward China’s relationship with the U.S., he joked that he was sleepy all of a sudden.
“But I tell you what, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go to bed,” he said.
Also this month, Biden was lambasted after walking out during a U.S. military medal ceremony at the White House before the closing prayer.
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