Biden falls at Air Force Academy commencement ceremony, appears unhurt

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — President Biden fell on stage after presenting the final diploma to Air Force graduates during a commencement ceremony Thursday.

The president appeared to fall to his knees before being aided by Air Force officials. He seemed OK and remained standing for the last few minutes of the ceremony.

Mr Biden was returning to his seat when he fell.

He appears to have tripped over a black sandbag on the stage. When he fell, the black sandbag pointed, as if saying that’s what he tripped over.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Mr Biden felt “totally fine” and flashed a big smile as he boarded Air Force One to return to Washington.

Reporters traveling with Mr Biden tried to ask him how he was feeling, but he said something that could not be heard by the plane’s engines.

Every stumble by Mr Biden tends to come under further scrutiny as he launches a re-election bid at the age of 80.

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Mr. Biden has already tripped on the stairs of Air Force One and wobbled on some stairs during his recent trip to Japan.

His predecessor and potential 2024 foe, former President Donald Trump, argued with the media after questioning his ginger on a ramp during a ceremony at West Point in 2020.

Mr Trump, campaigning in Iowa on Thursday, referred to the incident at West Point when he learned that Mr Biden had fallen.

“Hopefully he wasn’t hurt,” Trump said. “You have to be careful of that…even if you have to tiptoe down a ramp.”

• Jeff Mordock reported from Colorado.

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