Biden calls Egypt's Sisi the 'president of Mexico'

Biden calls Egypt's Sisi the 'president of Mexico'
Biden made a rare address from the White House to hit back at criticisms over his age and mental competence but ended up confusing Mexico with Egypt.
3 min read
09 February, 2024
President Joe Biden speaks from the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington [Getty]

US President Joe Biden appeared to confuse Mexico with Egypt during a press conference held on Thursday to refute allegations regarding his poor memory.

Biden was responding to a special counsel’s report led by Republican Robert Hur accusing the president of mishandling classified information when he served as vice-president to Barack Obama. 

Despite being cleared of charges of any wrongdoing, Biden was attempting to strike back at the report's description of him as an "elderly man with a poor memory".  

As Biden attempted to defend himself, he blundered again when speaking about Israel's war on Gaza, mistakenly referring to Egypt’s leader Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as "the president of Mexico". 

"As you know, initially, the president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in [to Gaza]. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate," the president said. 

The report also described the 81-year-old Democrat's memory as "hazy", "fuzzy", "faulty", "poor", and having "significant limitations".

It added that Biden could not recall defining milestones in his own life, such as when he served as vice president or when his son Beau passed away from brain cancer.

"My memory is fine," Biden said in the emotional and somewhat chaotic press conference.

"There's even [a] reference that I don't remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that?" the president said, visibly fighting to rein in his emotions. 


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Social media users took to X to share their opinions about Biden’s "blunder", including prominent Palestinian-American Islamic scholar Omar Suleiman.  

"So Joe Biden just called Egyptian President Sisi, the President of Mexico," he wrote on X.

"The man sees dead people all the time (except for the actual dead Palestinians he’s murdered). Can we call this a wrap yet?"

Following his remarks on the special counsel report, Biden also addressed Israel’s conduct in Gaza as "over the top".

He said he had pushed to get humanitarian assistance into the besieged territory and there was an alarmingly high number of Palestinian civilians in Gaza who are currently facing starvation

"I'm of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip, has been over the top," Biden said.  

"There are a lot of innocent people who are starving, a lot of innocent people who are in trouble and dying, and it's got to stop." 

US support for Israel's war on the besieged enclave has sparked criticism of the Biden administration at home and abroad. 

Months of bombardment and siege have deepened a humanitarian crisis across Gaza. 

The Palestinian territory's health ministry said Friday that at least 27,947 people have been killed since 7 October. 

The latest toll includes 107 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, while a total of 67,459 people have been wounded. 

Agencies contributed to this report