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CNN's Don Lemon defends questioning Karine Jean-Pierre about Biden's mental fitness: 'It's our job'

 


CNN host Don Lemon joined "New Day" on Wednesday to discuss his interview with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre the previous night, during which she criticized his questioning. 

Jean-Pierre laughed off a question from Lemon about Biden's mental fitness amid reporting from The New York Times about members of the Democratic Party having concerns about Biden's leadership ability. 

Lemon said it was his job to ask these questions and Jean-Pierre's job to answer these types of questions as a spokesperson for the administration. 

The CNN host said that people should know the "health, history, both physically and mentally" of the president of the U.S., and noted that journalists and media pundits "certainly" questioned former President Donald Trump's health. 

He said that the president is a "nice man" but he is going to be 80-years-old and as a man in his 50s, Lemon himself has "trouble recalling things." 

"I’m not as sharp as I used to be. And the job of President of the United States is a really, really tough job," Lemon said. "I'm sure he's up to the job, but it is my job as a journalist to ask." 

Lemon said that Biden's answers during interviews were not "succinct" and that "he has trouble sometimes connecting and his answers sometimes don't make sense."

He emphasized his belief that that knowing and asking about the mental health and fitness of the president is important heading into the 2024 election cycle. 

"And so I think we need to really think about that. Younger people being more involved in the political process, younger people, of course, can be involved in the political process. But we need to think about at a certain time in one’s life, perhaps they should think about that, and that includes Donald Trump as well, who is not far behind the current President of the United States," Lemon said. 

US President Joe Biden speaks at the 29th AFL-CIO Quadrennial Constitutional Convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on June 14, 2022. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

"And so I think we need to really think about that. Younger people being more involved in the political process, younger people, of course, can be involved in the political process. But we need to think about at a certain time in one’s life, perhaps they should think about that, and that includes Donald Trump as well, who is not far behind the current President of the United States," Lemon said. 

CNN's Dana Bash asked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Sunday if she would support the president in 2024. Ocasio-Cortez said, "We will cross that bridge when we get to it." 

"That's not a yes," Bash pointed out. 

The Democrat representative took to social media after the interview and called Bash's question a "curveball" in an Instagram story post. She said that she could have handled the question better and that she was taking notes on Sen. Bernie Sanders', I-Vt., ability to refocus the conversation.

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