Transcript of Biden's interview with Robert Hur shows the president cracked jokes about his wife and mimicked car sounds

A close-up of Joe Biden smiling.
A transcript of Joe Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur was released Tuesday, revealing that critiques of his memory may be overblown and offering a glimpse at Biden's sense of humor.Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
  • A transcript of Joe Biden's interview with special counsel Robert Hur was released Tuesday.

  • The transcript suggests critiques of his memory may be overblown and shows Biden's sense of humor.

  • In the log, Biden cracked jokes about investigators finding photos of his wife and made car sounds.

Many quickly picked apart the transcript of Joe Biden's interview with former special counsel Robert Hur when it was released Tuesday, seeking proof that the president's oft-critiqued memory is failing, but a closer look at their conversation shows Biden's wry sense of humor under pressure.

The transcript, which appears to suggest critiques of Biden's memory may be overblown, also shows the president tried to lighten the tense mood in the room by cracking jokes about investigators searching his home for classified documents and laughing at himself.


"I just hope you didn't find any risqué pictures of my wife in a bathing suit," The Washington Post reported the president told federal prosecutors. "Which you probably did. She's beautiful."

Biden also joked about FBI agents knowing the layout of his home better than he does, given how much time they spent inside, and poked fun at himself, suggesting everything he writes is probably misspelled, the Post reported, as well as laughing at a photo of himself with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, his onetime political ally.

"You can tell it's old," he said, referencing the photo. "I have my arm around Lindsey Graham."

The 81-year-old president at one point turned the discussion toward his love of cars when he was questioned about several boxes found near his Corvette. The Post reported he mimicked the sound of a car twice during the discussion, with the transcript reading "(Makes car sound)" and "(Laughter)."

Representatives for the Biden administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Hur last month issued a report regarding the yearlong investigation into classified documents being found at the Biden residence. He ultimately cited Biden's age and poor memory as reasons he didn't suggest criminal charges.

In the report, Hur also indicated Biden may have forgotten when his son, Beau, died, a criticism Biden's political adversaries were quick to seize upon.

However, the transcripts indicate that wasn't quite the case. The moment came as Biden was answering a line of questioning about where he may have stored work-related documents after his term as vice president.

"Remember, in this timeframe, my son is — either been deployed or is dying," NBC reported Biden said.

As he continued to think back nearly a decade, Biden wondered aloud, "What month did Beau die?" before correctly answering his own question, saying: "Oh God, May 30."

Others present affirmed the year, and shortly after, Hur suggested they take a break, per the Post.

"No," the Post reported Biden said, explaining the significant effect Beau's 2015 death from a brain tumor had on him. "Let me just keep going to get it done."

On Tuesday, Hur, a former Trump Justice Department official, defended his report in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, with The New York Times reporting he said "partisan politics played no part whatsoever in my work."

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