President Joe Biden has a long list of slip-ups in his political history, and his first year in the White House was no exception. In addition to bumbling through national addresses and mixing up the titles of world leaders, Biden infamously misremembered his past, lied, and even made up several stories to score points with his audience. Here are just a few of such incidents.
1. Joe Biden’s Made-Up Amtrak Story
At a 50th-anniversary event for Amtrak in Philadelphia, Biden said that when he was vice president, a train conductor congratulated him for traveling 1.5 million miles on Amtrak. A Fox News report out on May 5, however, pokes holes in the president’s account.
“When I became vice president, one of the Capitol Hill newspapers estimated that I had taken more than 7,000 round trips on Amtrak over my career,” Biden said. “I think that’s an exaggeration. I’m going to rely on those two conductors. … One of them was a guy named Angelo Negri.”
Biden continued, telling the audience Negri estimated Biden had traveled 1.5 million miles on Amtrak trains around his fourth or fifth year as vice president, which would have been in 2013 or 2014.
“My mom was sick, and I used to try to come home almost every weekend as vice president to see her,” Biden said. “I got on the train and Angelo Negri came up and he goes, ‘Joey, baby,’ and he grabbed my cheek like he always did. … He said, ‘Joey, what’s the big deal? One-point-three million miles on Air Force Two? Do you know how many miles you traveled on Amtrak?’ I said, ‘No, Angie, I don’t know.’ He gave me the calculation and he said ‘You traveled 1.5 million miles on Amtrak.;”
As Fox News pointed out, however, an obituary for Negri says the conductor retired in 1993, decades before Biden’s supposed story took place, while he was still a senator from Delaware. Biden’s mother died in 2010.
2. Falsely Claimed U.S. Government Experimented On Tuskegee Airmen
While speaking at a North Carolina event on COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Biden falsely claimed that vaccine hesitancy among black Americans stemmed from past experimentation by the U.S. government on the Tuskegee Airmen.
“The reason why it’s been harder to get African Americans, initially, to get vaccinated because they are used to being experimented on — the Tuskegee Airmen and others,” Biden said.
BIDEN: "It's awful hard as well to get Latinx vaccinated… Why? They're worried they'll be vaccinated and deported." pic.twitter.com/gt2mcuAGB2
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 24, 2021
The Tuskegee Airmen were the first group of African-American fighter pilots who served in the Army Air Corps throughout World War II. The Airmen were not connected to the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, wherein more than 600 black men were experimented on by the U.S. government to “observe the progression of a number of diseases, particularly syphilis, untreated in black males.” Biden also made the same false claim in May 2021 during an interview with YouTuber Jackie Aina.
3. Claimed He Was All-Star Player At Baseball Game Where He Went 0-2
Biden told a story about how he hit a ball 358 feet at his second congressional baseball game while hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers at the White House on July 2. The only problem: Biden, a freshman senator from Delaware at the time in 1974, went 0-2 at the game.
“Biden was decked out in Phillies home pinstripes last night as he went 0-for-2 (groundout, strikeout) in the Democrats’ 7-3 loss to the Republicans in the national annual congressional baseball game at Memorial Stadium,” read local coverage of the event.
Biden's second Congressional baseball game would have been in 1974
Did he really hit a 368 foot shot?
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) July 2, 2021
4. Biden Said He Was A Professor After the Obama Administration, But He Never Taught a Class
Biden claimed he was a professor in between his time as Obama’s vice president and his current tenure in the White House.
Biden says that he was a professor during the 4 years between being VP and POTUS
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) July 27, 2021
While Biden was named an honorary professor and led the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, the Democrat never taught a class during those four years.
5. Confused Biden Said He ‘Used to Drive an 18-Wheeler’
During a visit to the Mack Truck facility in Pennsylvania, Biden claimed he “used to drive an 18-wheeler.”
“I got to,” Biden said.
Joe Biden, a career politician who has been in politics for 48 years, claims he "used to drive an 18 wheeler.” pic.twitter.com/eOXI9pwF2g
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 28, 2021
While newspaper records indicate Biden rode in a cargo truck for hundreds of miles to “observe truckers’ woes,” there is no evidence that he ever operated a truck himself.
There is zero evidence that Biden "used to drive an 18 wheeler"
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) July 28, 2021
6. Falsely Claimed He Visited Pittsburgh Synagogue After 2018 Mass Murder
Speaking before a group of Jewish leaders, Biden claimed he visited the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh following the 2018 antisemitic attack on the worship site that left 11 people dead.
“I remember spending time at the, you know, uh, going to, uh, the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them,” he said.
Here’s Joe Biden talking about visiting Tree of Life synagogue after the massacre there. The executive director of the synagogue says Biden is lying — he never visited. Totally normal. pic.twitter.com/GcFjU2u50i
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 2, 2021
The president’s claim was quickly deemed false, however, with Tree of Life Executive Director Barb Feige saying Biden never visited the synagogue following the horrific 2018 attack.
“Barb Feige, executive director of the Tree of Life, said that Biden did not visit the synagogue in the nearly three years since the anti-Semitic attack,” the New York Post reported. “In a phone interview, Feige, executive director since July 2019, said firmly that ‘no,’ Biden didn’t visit, even before taking office when he had a lower public profile as a former vice president and then-Democratic presidential candidate.”
7. Biden Repeated False Claim That He Used to Drive A Tractor-Trailer
While touting the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in Minnesota, Biden repeated the debunked claim that he previously drove a tractor-trailer.
“I used to drive a tractor-trailer,” the president said during an event at Dakota County Technical College.
Joe Biden—who has been a politician for 48 years—repeats the lie that he “used to drive a tractor trailer.” pic.twitter.com/VAehetHba7
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 30, 2021
The statement from Biden is one of several instances of the president falsely claiming that he drove such a vehicle. While speaking at an event in Pennsylvania over the summer, the president proclaimed he had previously driven “an 18-wheeler.” When pressed by Fox News for evidence of such an instance occurring, a White House official pointed to a “December 1973 article from the Wilmington Evening Journal that showed Biden rode in an 18-wheeler on a 536-mile haul to Ohio.”
8. Biden Made Up Story About 1967 Visit To Israel
At the Dec. 1 White House menorah lighting in celebration of Hanukkah, Biden made up a story about a 1967 visit to Israel during the Six-Day War.
“I have known every — every prime minister well since Golda Meir, including Golda Meir,” Biden said in the East Room. “And during the Six-Day War, I had an opportunity to — she invited me to come over because I was going to be the liaison between, she and the Egyptians about the Suez, and so on and so forth.”
Biden says he went to Israel during the Six Day War to act as a liaison. He’s lying. That never happened. Totally normal. pic.twitter.com/rqLysviI4U
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) December 2, 2021
9. Biden Couldn’t Remember His Secretary of Defense
Biden appeared to forget who his secretary of defense was during a White House event promoting two female generals on International Women’s Day, March 8.
“I want to thank the former general. I keep calling him general, but my… the guy who runs that outfit over there,” Biden said.
"I want to thank the former general. I keep calling him general, but my… the guy who runs that outfit over there."pic.twitter.com/yeOifCp8ct
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 8, 2021
10. Joe Biden Confused Titles Of World Leaders
Biden confused the titles of South Korean President Moon Jae-in on May 21, 2021, a day after the U.S. president referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “President Netanyahu.”
Biden called the South Korean president “prime minister” while presenting a Medal of Honor to a 94-year-old Korean War veteran.
“The people in the Republic of Korea haven’t forgotten, as evidenced by the fact that the prime minister of Korea is here for this ceremony,” Biden said, according to the New York Post.
Biden confused Netanyahu’s title the day before in remarks celebrating the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
11. Biden Mistakes Libya For Syria At G7 Summit
Biden mixed up Syria for Libya three times at the G7 Summit in England during June 13 remarks on Russian aggression in the Middle East.
“In Libya, we should be opening up the passes to be able to go through and provide, provide food assistance and economic assist— I mean, vital assistance to a population that’s in real trouble,” Biden said, going on to charge Russia with violations of international norms in Syria, and then again wrongly referencing Libya.
WATCH: Biden thinks Syria is Libya. (Made mistake multiple times in G7 speech) pic.twitter.com/BSn1XKNs18
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) June 13, 2021
“As long as they’re there without the ability to bring about some order in the region, you can’t do that very well without providing for the basic economic needs of people,” Biden said. “So I’m hopeful that we can find an accommodation where we can save the lives of people in, for example, in Libya.”
12. Biden Gets Corrected At G7 Summit After Insisting On Introduction Of South Africa President
Biden was corrected by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 Summit in England on June 13 when Biden interrupted the host leader to demand he introduce the president of South Africa, who had just been introduced.
“And the president of South Africa,” Biden cut into Johnson’s roundtable remarks.
“And the president of South Africa, as I said earlier on,” Johnson dismissed.
“Oh, you did,” a frail Biden said at the table while others laughed.
“I did, I certainly did,” Johnson finished.
Top story: @SkyNews: 'Boris Johnson insists to Joe Biden that he already introduced the president of South Africa to a G7 meeting.
— E N Brown (@SuperEB) June 14, 2021