US President Biden forgets the name of his Defence Secretary

9 March 2021
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US President Joe Biden on Monday forgot the name of Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at a White House event — calling the Pentagon chief “the guy who runs that outfit over there.”

The new President was in the middle of announcing the nomination of two female generals to lead US military combatant commands.

“And I want to thank the sec — the, the, ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my — the guy who runs that outfit over there,” Biden said.

“I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we just talked about. And for recommending these two women for promotion.”

Earlier at the event, Biden mentioned the Defence Department leader by his name, “Secretary Austin,” while appearing to read from a teleprompter.

Biden, 78, has previously struggled with the names of his cabinet secretary selections. In December, he mispronounced the name of his nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, before correcting himself with a different mispronunciation.

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