Biden blunders: Stairs, swears and snoozes as fitness questions hang over ‘Sleepy Joe’

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Joe Biden falls over while boarding Air Force One

Mr Biden, 79, embarks on his first trip to Asia as US President today as he visits South Korea and Japan. However, the US President’s four-day trip is widely seen as an effort to counter China’s growing influence in the region. Beijing’s refusal to explicitly condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine also presents headaches for the Biden administration. The US leader’s visit also comes as American intelligence has shown that North Korea is preparing for a potential intercontinental ballistic missile test and underground nuclear missile testing, according to CNN.

Mr Biden’s aides will hope that his high-stakes trip to Asia is not derailed by any embarrassing mistakes, which have become hallmarks of the veteran leader’s presidency since he was sworn in last January, becoming the oldest American to be inaugurated as President.

Famously nicknamed ‘Sleepy Joe’ by his predecessor Donald Trump, he has made a string of public errors during his time in the White House and dating back further in his political career.

His apparent tiredness, forgetfulness and clumsiness have raised concerns he may not be fit for office.

One of his most recent awkward moments came when he stuttered over the word “kleptocracy” during a speech near the end of last month.

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Biden blunders: Stairs, swears and snoozes as fitness questions hang over ‘Sleepy Joe’

Biden blunders: Stairs, swears and snoozes as fitness questions hang over ‘Sleepy Joe’ (Image: GETTY)

'Sleepy Joe': Donald Trump's nickname for Biden

‘Sleepy Joe’: Donald Trump’s nickname for Biden (Image: GETTY)

Mr Biden was outlining how his administration planned to sanction oligarchs and other figures linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to his invasion of Ukraine.

He told reporters: “We’re going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and other ill-begotten gains of Putin’s kleptoc – yeah – kleptocracy and klep – the guys who are the kleptocracies.”

Mr Biden laughed at his inability to correctly pronounce the word, but the moment was yet another unfortunate moment for some observers.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton tweeted the word “Alarming” along with a clip of the speech.

Last week, Mr Biden, who turns 80 this year, slipped and almost fell as he walked up the stairs of Air Force One, his official aircraft.

Biden: Sworn in as President last year

Biden: Sworn in as President last year (Image: GETTY)

The US leader, who was heading to Illinois at the time, quickly clutched the handrail of the stairs to steady himself.

The scene was reminiscent of when Mr Biden stumbled three times while climbing the stairs of Air Force One last March.

Also last year, the gaffe-prone leader appeared to doze off during the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

While listening to the opening speeches at the November summit, the President closed his eyes for around 20 seconds.

Meanwhile, 2022 has seen Mr Biden caught swearing in response to a Fox News journalist’s question about US inflation, which has hit a high of nearly 40 years.

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Ukraine: Biden has also made slip-ups over war

Ukraine: Biden has also made slip-ups over war (Image: GETTY)

Speaking quietly, the US leader said in January: “It’s a great asset — more inflation,” and added, “What a stupid son of a b***h.”

While the President has emerged from these slip-ups relatively unscathed, some of his other gaffes may have more serious consequences.

Mr Biden was accused of making a major diplomatic blunder over Ukraine in March as he addressed reporters in Warsaw, Poland.

Speaking about Putin, he said: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

A White House official swiftly rowed back on Mr Biden’s remarks, which appeared to call for a regime change in Russia.

They said: “The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region.

US Presidents: A history

US Presidents: A history (Image: EXPRESS)

“He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”

The blunder came the day after Mr Biden held summits in Belgium with NATO allies, the EU and G7 nations.

He claimed NATO would respond “in kind” when asked if the security alliance would respond militarily if chemical weapons were used in Ukraine.

Mr Biden said: “It would trigger a response in kind, whether or not, you’re asking whether NATO would cross, we’d make that decision at the time.”

Despite some lingering concerns over Mr Biden’s fitness for office, the US leader was pretty much given a clean bill of health in November.

His doctor declared him “healthy” after a five-hour medical, although he did note that the severity of his throat clearing and coughing while speaking had become more intense and more frequent.



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