Biden spoke so low during a key White House meeting that some attendees struggled to understand his words, report says

  • Biden spoke so softly during a January meeting that some couldn't hear him, per The Wall Street Journal.

  • The White House meeting involved negotiations for additional funding for Ukraine.

  • Biden has sought to address concerns about his age by touting his administration's accomplishments.

President Joe Biden during key January negotiations for a Ukraine funding deal spoke so low that some attendees had difficulty hearing him speak, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The report comes as voter concerns about Biden's age remain a major issue impacting his reelection bid, with Democrats largely defending his performance while Republicans have continued to question the president's acuity.

The Journal reported that Biden took roughly ten minutes to slowly greet congressional leaders before the January White House meeting began, and once it started, the president then reiterated the need to support Ukraine — despite the general consensus in the room already being that additional funding was needed.

In the meeting, which was attended by House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young, Biden read from notes and often deferred to staffers when he was asked questions, according to The Journal.

Biden during the meeting also closed his eyes for such a duration that some wondered if he had shut out the meeting, per the report.

"You couldn't be there and not feel uncomfortable," one attendee told The Journal. "I'll just say that."

It's a damning portrait for Biden — a leading negotiator throughout his decades-long career in Washington — as the 81-year-old president's fitness for office has been an issue that former President Donald Trump has sought to wield against him.

When pressed on the issue, Biden has vigorously defended his age and his administration's accomplishments. And Democratic allies like Jeffries have also strongly vouched for Biden, telling the Journal that the president was "incredibly strong, forceful and decisive" in the January White House meeting.

While Republicans have sought to focus on Biden's age, the 77-year-old Trump has had his share of public slip-ups. In recent months, he has mixed up ex-GOP presidential rival Nikki Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And Trump on several occasions has appeared to confuse Biden with former President Barack Obama, including an incident at a March rally in Richmond, Virginia.

The White House strongly pushed back against the characterization of Biden as a poor performer, which spokesman Andrew Bates in a statement to the Journal said were "false and politically motivated claims."

"President Biden inherited an economy in free fall, fraying alliances, and a spiking violent crime rate, and he turned each around with his experience and judgment, delivering the strongest economic growth in the world, making NATO bigger than ever, and forcing violent crime to a near 50-year low," Bates added in a Wednesday statement.

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