White House blasts 'cheap fake' videos of Joe Biden appearing to freeze

White House blasts 'cheap fake' videos of Joe Biden appearing to freeze

The White House has blasted videos that appear to show Joe Biden freezing at public events - claiming the clips are “cheap fakes”.

Footage from a star-studded campaign fundraiser on Saturday appeared to show the US President clapping and waving before standing still and staring out at the crowd for around seven seconds, then being gently escorted off stage by former president Barack Obama.

It compounded concerns for the health of the Mr Biden, 81, who is currently campaigning for a second term in office.

Last week while attending the G7 in Italy video showed Biden appeared to wander away from other world leaders while viewing a skydiving demonstration, with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni directing him back to the group.

Mr Biden also appeared to freeze for more than 20 during a concert at the White House last week, held ahead of Juneteenth National Independence Day.

At a briefing on Monday night, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blasted the footage and defended the president’s actions.

“President Obama, President Biden have a relationship,” she said, of the clip from Saturday’s fundraiser in Los Angeles. “They are friends. They are like family to each other, and that’s what you saw.

“Meloni...I don’t know specifically what happened with Meloni...It was a cheap fake. That was definitely a cheap fake. That video was widely fact-checked...the president walked over to give a thumbs-up to divers who had landed just in front of him.”

Asked if the president is “totally normal”, Ms Jean-Pierre said: “Instead of Republicans...focusing on his performance in office and what he’s been able to accomplish - his actual record - they do these cheap fakes. They are cheap fakes.”

She said the videos were “done in bad faith”, adding: “The right-wing critics of the president have a credibility problem because the fact checkers have repeatedly caught them pushing misinformation … disinformation.”She was also asked about last week’s incident in which Mr Biden appeared to freeze during a concert at the White House, held ahead of Juneteenth National Independence Day.

As Vice President Kamala Harris and others danced energetically, Mr Biden appeared to stand completely still for more than 20 seconds. He seemed to slur his words during a speech given later at the same event.

“Lights are on but no one’s home,” the Trump campaign’s “war room” account posted on X following the incident.

Ms Jean-Pierre defended the president on Monday night, saying Mr Biden “stood there listening to the music, and he didn’t dance”.

“Excuse me, I didn’t know not dancing was a mental...was a health issue,” she added. “That is a weird thing to actually flag when you look at the people who were around him, there were some folks who weren’t dancing either.”

She added that the videos demonstrate "everything that we need to know about how desperate, how desperate Republicans are here."

Republicans have seized on the incidents amid claims of Biden’s cognitive decline.His presidential rival, former president Donald Trump, shared a video on his social media platform Truth Social that showed a grainy version of Biden stopping and looking out into the audience as he departed the stage on Saturday night.

"Is this really who you want to be your president?" Mr Trump asked in the post.White House spokesperson Andrew Bates described the moment as "the president taking in an applauding crowd for a few seconds."

Mr Singer attributed the negative characterisations as a distraction tactic from those who "are so scared of losing to Joe Biden, they'll make anything up to distract from the fact that their candidate for president, Donald Trump, has been convicted of 34 felonies, found liable for sexual assault, committed financial fraud, and only cares about himself."Lewis Kay, a spokesperson for Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted Saturday’s fundraiser, called the claims spreading online "nonsense.""Attendees in the front were shouting at him, and President Biden was trying to hear them," he wrote in an email to news agency AP. "It's as simple as that."