Video shows Biden 'wandering' off at G7 event; White House explains (Video)

Saturday, 15 June 2024 - 1:59

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A video of President Joe Biden at the G7 Summit in Italy is getting attention as the White House and conservatives spar over why he appeared to wander off from the group.

The video shows the G7 leaders gathered behind a skydiver who had just landed, and Biden turns and walks away from the group. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni then gets his attention and the group reconvenes around him.

President Biden has been “losing focus” during discussions at this week’s G7 summit in Italy, with one diplomatic insider saying the commander-in-chief is “the worst he has ever been.”

Another attendee from a non-US delegation told the Sun Friday that the 81-year-old’s public missteps on the first day of the gathering were “embarrassing.”

Biden has joined the leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies — including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — for the annual meeting to discuss their nations’ economic and security priorities.

However, the president has stolen the spotlight with a series of bizarre actions, including giving Meloni an awkward salute upon greeting her Thursday and wandering away from his fellow leaders during a skydiving demonstration, forcing the host prime minister to chaperone him back to the group.

Biden apparently got off on the wrong foot with Meloni before the summit even began Thursday morning, keeping the Italian prime minister waiting 20 minutes before arriving, according to public broadcaster RAI.

When the president did appear, Meloni reportedly chided him in an apparent attempt at humor, telling Biden: “You shouldn’t leave a woman waiting like this.”

The Sun also reported that Biden had shown moments of clarity while discussing urgent matters with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union.

That is in line with The Post’s understanding from White House staffers that Biden, who would be 86 years old if he completes a full second term in January 2029, has at points lost his focus in private conversations.

White House senior deputy press secretary Andrew Bates described the Sun report as “lies” Friday and touted Biden’s “successful leadership overseas advancing our national security.”

Bates also insisted that The Post and other outlets had reported on a distorted version of the video of Biden walking away from the skydiving demonstration, saying the president was giving “a thumbs up” and saying “congratulations” to another skydiver just out of the video’s frame.

However, Sunak told reporters Friday that the choreography of the ceremony called for Biden to join his fellow leaders.

“He just went over to kind of talk to all of them individually and Georgia [Meloni] was saying, ‘Don’t worry, they’re all coming to [us],'” the British prime minister said.

“We were meant to line up so they could come and then shake all our hands.”

Sunak also defended the American president, saying Biden was “all right” and was “being very polite” to the military members who took part in the demonstration.

Biden also skipped a dinner held for the G7 leaders at a luxury hotel in southern Italy later Thursday evening.

“There’s going to be a lot of meetings happening, a lot of sessions, as you know,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday in excusing Biden’s absence. “And so, the President is certainly going to be engaged for the — the two days — or two — two — two and a half days that he is in Italy at the G7. So, I wouldn’t read too much into him not going to one dinner.”

The summit has been marked by the US signing a 10-year security agreement with Ukraine and the alliance agreeing to lend another $50 billion to Kyiv in its war effort against Russia

Several people online jumped on the moment to suggest he could be losing his mental capabilities, but a White House spokesperson said the video frame cut out what he was walking towards.

Still, others on social media voiced concerns over the president's move in the clip.

"Joe Biden just goes wandering off at the G7 meeting. Another national leader has to retrieve him. They are babysitting our president in Italy," one user wrote on X with the video being circulated by the RNC Research account. 




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