In a press conference Thursday, President Biden discussed one of the newest countries to join NATO, claiming he had called the leader of Switzerland to discuss abandoning two centuries of neutrality before promptly correcting himself and saying he actually meant Sweden.
“Some of the American press will remember when I got a phone call from the leader of Finland saying could he come and see me, then he came the next day and said, ‘Will you support my joining — my country joining NATO?’ We got the telephone. He suggested we call the leader of Switzerland,” Biden said.
Biden quickly realized his mistake, adding, “Switzerland, my goodness, I’m getting really anxious up here about expanding NATO – of Sweden.”
Biden was speaking at a press conference after a NATO summit in which Finland and Sweden were officially invited to join in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February.
Sweden had been neutral since the 1800s during the Napoleonic wars when it lost control of Finland to Russia, and Finland has been neutral since World War II when it lost a substantial amount of territory also to Russia.
Biden has faced criticism for gaffes such as these in the past with some viewing them as indicative of a larger cognitive problem from the 80-year-old president.
Last month, Biden referred to South Korea as North Korea while listing supporters of the U.S. sanctions against Russia, and in 2021 he confused Libya and Syria.
These are just a few gaffes of the “gaffe-prone” president who has, in the past, given conflicting information on the stance of the White House.
In May, Biden claimed that the United States would defend Taiwan in case of Chinese invasion, contrary to policy made by the White House. This marked the third time in nine months Biden had made such claims and had them walked back by the administration.
Biden was asked by a reporter if the United States would Defend Taiwan, responding, “Yes. That’s the commitment we made. We agree with the ‘one China’ policy. We signed on to it,” Biden added. “All the attendant agreements [were] made from there. But the idea that that can be taken by force, just taken by force. It’s just not — it’s just not appropriate.”
The White house later walked back the president’s comments:
“As the president said, our policy has not changed,” a spokesperson told Fox News. “He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.