Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a news conference in Boston in 2023.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a news conference in Boston in 2023. (Chris Christo, Boston Herald/TNS)

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — Vice President Kamala Harris lambasted a Justice Department report that questioned President Joe Biden’s age and acuity, calling the findings “gratuitous, inaccurate and inappropriate” and “politically motivated.”

The signal of support comes as Biden faces renewed worries over his age following the release of the report and a subsequent press conference. Speaking to reporters Thursday night, Biden confused the details of a conversation he had with a foreign leader for the fourth time in a week.

Still, the vice president vociferously defended Biden during previously planned remarks at the White House on gun violence, saying that unfavorable descriptions of the president’s demeanor, “could not be more wrong on the facts.”

She said Biden was likely distracted during the interview with prosecutors investigating his handling of classified documents because it took place just a day after Hamas militants’ Oct. 7 rampage in Israel.

It was “an intense moment for the commander-in-chief,” Harris said, adding that Biden had just spent “countless hours” with top military and intelligence officials.

“The president was in front of and on top of it all,” Harris said.

Harris also cited her own history as a prosecutor in California to cast the work of Special Counsel Robert Hur, a former U.S. attorney appointed by Donald Trump, as intended to cause political harm. Harris said she would have expected a “higher level of integrity” from a Justice Department report.

White House and Biden campaign officials have targeted Hur since the release of the document, which described Biden as unable to remember the year his son had died, when his vice presidency ended and basic details about Afghanistan policy debates in the Obama administration.

The revelations amplified one of the biggest campaign liabilities for the president just nine months before voters head to the polls. Some three-quarters of Americans, including half of Democrats, said they had concerns about the president’s mental and physical health, according to a NBC News poll released earlier this week.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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