Former British Ambassador to the US Christopher Meyer argues that President Joe Biden’s “mental strength” has now become a “big concern” for the US. It comes after American officials were forced to back up comments Biden made about Russia and Vladimir Putin during his recent European tour.
Mr Meyer told BBC Scotland: “He’s probably someone who can’t help but fail to wane mental strength which I think is a big concern in the United States, that’s what I’ve seen ipadnewsed publicly as well. I’ve heard from one or two people privately. .
“So I’m not surprised he came off the script in Warsaw like he did because you’ve done it a few times during his European tour but you have to worry.
Asked if Biden’s remarks could be part of a deliberate strategy, he replied: “Well, I don’t think so because I wasn’t quite clear on where that strategy was supposed to lead.”
Mr Meyer added: I was also very surprised by how quickly the White House and then US Secretary of State Tony Blinken came to correct the record.
“It’s as if they expect the President to do something a little crazy during his European tour, and they are ready to fix it, if necessary, and for God’s sake they are moving fast.”
It came after the US president declared that Putin should be removed from power, sparking concerns over possible American action.
The president’s detractors had asked for his mental state to be assessed but a medical examination carried out in November 2021 by doctor Dr Kevin O’Connor MD found that Biden “remains healthy, strong, 78 years old, fit to successfully serve the Presidency.”
His stuttering, which has affected him since childhood, has also been repeatedly cited as the cause of some of the speech difficulties he sometimes exhibits during speeches.
Russia’s military last week signaled it would concentrate on expanding territory held by separatists in eastern Ukraine, but Ukraine said it saw no sign Russia had given up plans to besiege the capital, which was the target of the February 24 invasion.
Ukrainian officials have suggested Russia could be more willing to compromise after seeing Ukraine’s tough resistance and heavy Russian losses. But a senior US State Department official said Putin did not give that impression.
“All I see is that he is not willing to compromise at this point,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity after Ukraine’s president sketched out potential ways to end the crisis over the weekend.
Ukraine and Russia are preparing on Monday for the first face-to-face peace talks in more than two weeks. But a senior US official said Putin did not appear ready to make compromises to end the war.