We’re Releasing Our Full, Unedited Interview With Joe Biden From September

In the wake of President Joe Biden’s poor debate performance, his opponents and most major media organizations have pointed out that he has done few interviews that give the public an opportunity to hear him speak without a script or teleprompters.

So much has been made of this limited access that the impressions from Special Counsel Robert K. Hur about his five hours of interviews with the president on Oct. 8 and 9 drove months of coverage. The prosecutor said Biden had “diminished faculties in advancing age” and called him a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Biden angrily dismissed these assertions, which Vice President Kamala Harris called “politically motivated.”

House Republicans on Monday sued Attorney General Merrick B. Garland for audio recordings of the interview as the White House asserts executive privilege to deny their release.

ProPublica obtained a rare interview with Biden on Sept. 29, nine days before the Hur interviews began. We released the video, which was assembled from footage shot by five cameras, on Oct. 1. We edited out less than a minute of crosstalk and exchanges with the camera people, as is customary in such interviews.

Today, we are releasing the full, 21-minute interview, unedited as seen from the view of the single camera focused on Biden. We understand that this video captures a moment in time nine months ago and that it will not settle the ongoing arguments about the president’s acuity today. Still, we believe it is worth giving the public another chance to see one of Biden’s infrequent conversations with a reporter.

The Interview With the Camera Focused on Biden

The Interview as Published

Conducting the interview was veteran journalist and former CNN White House correspondent John Harwood, who requested it and then worked with ProPublica to film and produce it.

He did not send questions to the White House ahead of time, nor did he get approval for the topics to be discussed during the interview.

Recording began as soon as Biden was miked and sitting in the chair that Friday at 2:50 p.m. Earlier that day, Biden’s press staff had said the president would have only 10 minutes for the interview, instead of the previously agreed upon 20 minutes. We requested that the interview go the full 20 minutes. You can hear during the unedited interview a couple of moments when White House staff interrupted to signal that the interview should come to a close. Biden seemed eager to continue talking.