Biden bungles date of Jan 6 Capitol riot in latest gaffe

This marks the latest in a series of blunders from the president as he campaigns for a second term in office

Joe Sommerlad
Friday 26 April 2024 16:43 BST
Michael Douglas praises Joe Biden: ‘He’s sharp as a tack!’

President Joe Biden made yet another gaffe on Thursday evening as he managed to bungle the date of the January 6 riot on the US Capitol.

The president was speaking at a 2024 fundraising gala at the home of Hollywood actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Westchester, New York, when he briefly mixed up the infamous date.

“We’ll certainly never forget the dark days of June 6,” Mr Biden said, according to a White House pool report on the event.

He quickly coreected himself: “January 6, excuse me. One of the dark days in history. The idea that wasn’t an insurrection – I don’t understand.”

The date the president initially gave is another major date in history: the anniversary of the Normandy landings during the Second World War, otherwise known as D-Day.

This marks just the latest in a long line of gaffes Mr Biden has made while speaking in public and comes hot on the heels of another blunder in Florida on Tuesday.

The president’s track record of comic errors has increasingly been used by Donadl Trump and his allies to claim that the 81-year-old is too old to serve another term in the White House and is in a state of “cognitive decline”.

However, the Republican contender, who is 77 himself, also contradicts that claim by arguing the reverse: that his successor is a brilliant criminal mastermind who has “weaponised” the justice system against him, claiming, without evidence, that all of the indictments he is currently battling have been launched against him at Mr Biden in order to damage his latest bid for the presidency.

Mr Trump meanwhile has also had plenty of “senior moments” of his own, notably confusing his former GOP rival Nikki Haley with ex-House speaker Nancy Pelosi, mixing up Mr Biden with his own predecessor, Barack Obama, and even reportedly falling asleep during his New York hush money trial, currently ongoing at Manhattan Criminal Court.

US president Joe Biden speaks at the Milton J Rubenstein Museum in Syracuse, New York, on 25 April 2024
US president Joe Biden speaks at the Milton J Rubenstein Museum in Syracuse, New York, on 25 April 2024 (AFP/Getty)

Elsewhere in Mr Biden’s latest address to affluent Democratic donors on Thursday, he taunted his election rival for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

“We’ll never forget him wanting tear gas to be sprayed on peaceful protesters outside the White House, and holding the Bible upside down. Now he’s writing his own Bible,” the president joked.

He also derided Mr Trump for “lying about Covid and telling the American people to inject bleach in their arms” while he himself “injected it in his hair”.

Zeta-Jones was not in attendance at the event at the couple’s riverfront home, Mr Douglas explained, because she was away filming a TV series.

But the Wall Street and Basic Instinct star himself backed the president for re-election in November, commenting: “Number 46 must become number 47.”

He also praised Mr Biden as an “extraordinary, seasoned veteran” and had the compliment repaid when the commander-in-chief quipped that the two men had something in common: “We both married way above our stations.”

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