Daily Skimm·

A special counsel report has put a new spotlight on President Biden’s mental fitness.

top story

President Biden

Ladies and Gentlemen...Hur

The Story

A special counsel report has put a new spotlight on President Biden’s mental fitness.

Tell me more.

Yesterday, the Justice Department released its report into the year-long classified documents probe involving Biden. Special counsel Robert Hur said the president “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” after serving as VP. The docs included material about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan and notebooks “implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” But it was the report’s description of Biden’s memory that's raised new questions about the president’s age and competency.

What did it say?

In explaining that “no criminal charges are warranted” against Biden, Hur said it would be hard to convict the 81-year-old president since a jury could find him as an “elderly man with a poor memory.” The report also described Biden’s memory as “hazy” with “significant limitations.” It also said that Biden couldn’t remember key life milestones, including when his son Beau died. 

That’s how he described the President of the United States?

Yup. Hours after the report’s release, Biden defended himself and said, “My memory is fine.” On Hur’s claim that Biden couldn’t remember Beau’s death, the president said, “How in the hell dare he raise that?” Biden described himself as “the most qualified person in this country” to be president. Later in his remarks, Biden confused the presidents of Egypt and Mexico when talking about the Israel-Hamas war — setting off new criticism.

What are other people saying?

Former President Trump — who is facing 37 charges stemming from his own mishandling of classified docs — said Hur's findings demonstrated a “two-tiered system of justice and selective prosecution.” Meanwhile, other Republicans are pushing for Biden’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment — which allows the VP and Cabinet to boot the president from office if he's deemed unfit. Democrats described Hur's report as politically motivated.


President Biden’s age has been an ongoing sticking point this election season, with one poll finding 62% of voters have major concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health. It’s a concern Democrats have also expressed. Now, some say this report could be used to build a case against Biden’s reelection just as the primary season gets underway.

and also...this

Who sat down for a one-on-one...

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yesterday, ousted Fox anchor Tucker Carlson released his interview with the Russian president. He's the first Western journalist to interview Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. The two-hour interview — filmed in Moscow — kicked off with Putin spending nearly 30 minutes sharing a revisionist history of Russia and Ukraine. On the war between the two countries, Putin reportedly said it would be “over within a few weeks” if the US stopped helping Ukraine. The Russian President said the US should focus on its own issues instead and asked, “Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia?” Putin also indicated a deal could be reached to release US reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained in Russia since last year on espionage charges. The Wall Street Journal and the White House have denied the charges.

Where abortion is now in the spotlight…

Texas. This week, a 39-year-old man was sentenced to 180 days in jail for drugging his then-wife’s drinks in order to try to get her to miscarry. Texas bars all abortions except in cases where there is a “medical emergency.” Still, the man managed — on seven separate occasions — to drug his wife’s drinks, allegedly with a Mexican brand of abortion pills. Doctors who facilitate abortions in Texas face the threat of life in prison, fines, and the loss of their license. In this case, however, the man will face only 180 days in jail and 10 years’ probation after pleading guilty to injuring a child and assaulting a pregnant person. The woman, who ended up giving birth 10 weeks early, said her daughter suffered developmental delays and had to reportedly spend 117 days in the hospital in her first few months of life.

What's got scientists fired up…

Clean energy. Yesterday, scientists in the UK said they set a nuclear fusion record using the same process that powers the sun and other stars. They maintained 69 megajoules of fusion energy for five seconds — reportedly enough to power four to five hot baths — using 0.2 milligrams of fuel. For decades, experts have worked on making nuclear fusion a reality on Earth in hopes of creating a massive energy source that needs little fuel and emits no planet-warming carbon. While nuclear fusion energy would be revolutionary in tackling climate change, experts say by the time the tech is commercialized, it will be too late.

What’s actually an Aries…

Google’s AI chatbot. Yesterday, it renamed its Bard chatbot Gemini, after the new AI that powers it. Google unveiled the chatbot in March 2023 as a contender to OpenAI's ChatGPT. Now, the tech giant’s hoping its chatbot will be its next claim to fame.

What fumbled the delivery…

An Uber Eats Super Bowl commercial.

What Paris Olympics medal winners will walk away with…

Pieces of the Eiffel Tower.

What’s the new nepo baby...

Pretty parent privilege.

keep an eye on...

Your inbox this weekend. We will always keep you informed, but it's OK to take a break from the news, too. On Saturdays and Sundays from now on, the Daily Skimm will focus on helping you spend your leisure time well (with Saturday’s Read. Eat. Go.) and catching you up on what's happening in culture (with From the Group Chat on Sundays). We’ll be back Monday mornings with all the news you need to know.

Live Smarter

Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.