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Biden dodges repeatedly answering whether he’d take neurological test

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President Biden three times dodged answering questions about whether he’d take a neurological test in one of the most contentious moments of his first sit-down interview since a widely panned presidential debate performance last week.

“Have you had a full neurological and cognitive evaluation?,” ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked Biden in an interview that was conducted Friday afternoon and aired in the evening.

Biden replied: “I get a full neurological test every day with me. I’ve had a full physical … I’ve been to Walter Reed for my physicals.”

Stephanopoulos again pressed the president about taking a neurological test, and Biden again ducked. 

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Biden ABC interview

President Biden raised eyebrows when he expressed uncertainty whether he had watched his debate performance in an interview with ABCs George Stephanopoulos.  (Screenshot/ABC)

“Have you had the specific cognitive tests, and have you had a neurologist, a specialist, do an examination?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“No, no one said I had to. … They said, I’m good,” Biden responded.

Stephanopoulos pressed Biden a third time on taking a cognitive or neurological test, and, if he would agree to take one, asking if Biden then would release the results of such a test to the public. The president, however, brushed off the question by saying that he is tested every day in his role as president. 

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“Look, I have a cognitive test every single day,” Biden said. “Every day I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world. Sounds like hyperbole  – but we are the central nation in the world.”

He added: “And every single day, for example, today, before I come out here, I’m on the phone with the Prime Minister of … Well anyway, I shouldn’t get into detail, but with Netanyahu. I’m on the phone with the new Prime Minister of England. I’m working on what we’re doing with regard to in Europe, with regard to expansion to NATO and whether it’s going to stick. I’m taking on Putin. I mean, every day, there’s no day I go through there’s not those decisions I have to make every single day.” 

Three shots of Biden during the debate

President Biden’s disastrous debate performance “changed people’s calculations about how candid they would be” about his cognitive issues, according to Olivia Nuzzi. ((Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) | (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) | Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images))

Biden’s ABC interview is his first extensive one-on-one since a disastrous debate against former President Donald Trump last Thursday, which escalated concern about the president’s mental acuity and age, and sparked a wave of traditional Democrat allies and establishment media outlets, such as the New York Times, to call on the president to exit the race.

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The disastrous debate performance included the president tripping over his words, losing his train of thought at times and delivering responses with a raspy voice. His slow and deliberate demeanor fared poorly when compared to the man he was squaring up against: Trump

Trump on debate stage

Former President Trump participates in the first presidential debate at CNN Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 27. (Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Biden and his administration and campaign have remained resolute that Biden will remain in the race despite the mounting calls for someone else – such as Vice President Kamala Harris – to step in and become the party’s nominee for November. 

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Biden said during the interview that he’s aware he performed poorly during the debate, telling Stephanopoulos that it merely was a “bad episode.” 

“No indication of a serious condition. I was exhausted,” Biden said. “I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing. It was a bad night.”

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He added: “The whole way I prepared – nobody’s fault. Mine. Nobody’s fault but mine,” Biden said. “I prepared what I usually would do sitting down, as I did coming back with foreign leaders or the National Security Council, for explicit detail.

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