White House criticizes viral Biden clips as “misinformation”

The White House has accused “right-wing critics” of selectively editing videos as part of a “disinformation campaign” to make President Joe Biden appear senile.

In the most recent incident, Biden's opponents claimed he was in a moment of confusion, which is why Barack Obama had to escort him off the stage at a fundraiser over the weekend.

The White House shared additional footage that it said shows Biden pausing only to accept the applause.

The mental capacities of 81-year-old Biden and his 78-year-old challenger Donald Trump are under scrutiny as the dispute over the White House intensifies.

However, poll after poll shows that voters are scrutinizing Biden's age and abilities far more closely.

“This tells us everything we need to know about the desperation of the Republicans,” said press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the daily press conference on Monday.

She told reporters that “these manipulated videos [are] done with malicious intent”.

The White House spokeswoman was responding to a question about a gala hosted by Mr Biden in Los Angeles on Saturday evening.

Headliners of the event were George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Julia Roberts and late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel.

Conservative media have released a clip showing Biden standing on stage and the audience applauding before Obama grabs his arm and they leave the stage together.

The New York Post reported that Biden “appeared to freeze” at the end of the event and “had to be led off the stage” by Obama.

Trump shared the clip on his Truth Social platform and commented: “Is this really the man you want as your president?”

However, allies of the president pointed to longer clips in which Biden smiles and apparently enjoys the applause of the crowd.

Ms Jean-Pierre said the incident showed that Obama and Biden “have a relationship. They are friends. They are like family to each other.”

The White House press secretary also criticized the Post's recent styling of another Biden clip.

The newspaper reported last week that the president began to “digress” during a skydiving demonstration in Italy on Thursday and that other G7 leaders had to “pull him back into focus.”

But British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Telegraph that the US president was simply “very polite and went over to talk to everyone. [the parachute jumpers] one by one,” before Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told him they would all line up to shake hands.

A clip of the interaction widely shared on X (formerly Twitter) is accompanied by a community note indicating that the video has been cropped.

Biden's allies are now using viral clips of Trump to argue that the Republican candidate lacks mental clarity.

Democrat Biden is preparing to face Trump in the first televised debate of the year later this month. The White House election will take place in November.