Biden repeatedly gets facts wrong in retelling war story: report

Biden repeatedly gets facts wrong in retelling war story: report
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump knocks Romney as 'Democrat secret asset' in new video Giuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Perry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry MORE has reportedly misstated facts in a war story he has retold on multiple occasions, drawing scrutiny on his recounting of the episode.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that a story Biden has told as recently as last week on the campaign trail appears to pull from at least three separate events.

The story, as Biden has told it, involves him as then-vice president visiting the Kunar province in Afghanistan, a story focusing on the heroism of what he said was "a young Navy captain."

Biden has reportedly said that he ignored concerns that his visit would be dangerous, saying, “We can lose a vice president ... We can’t lose many more of these kids.”

During the town hall event last Friday, the Post reported, Biden said a general had wanted him to pin a Silver Star on a Navy captain who rappelled 60 feet under fire to retrieve the body of a U.S. serviceman.

“He said, ‘Sir, I don’t want the damn thing!’ ” Biden told a room of 400 people in New Hampshire. “’Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!’ ”

The Post, however, reported Thursday that based on interviews with more than a dozen troops, commanders and Biden campaign officials "it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened."

The newspaper noted that Biden did visit the Kunar province in 2008, but as a senator, not as vice president, and that the rescue event he described was performed by 20-year-old Army specialist Kyle J. White, not a Navy captain. Biden reportedly did not pin any medal on White, but White was given a Medal of Honor by then-President Obama years after Biden’s trip.

The Post reported that Biden did put a medal on a different soldier who didn’t feel he should have gotten the award, Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman.

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told the newspaper in a statement, “In Afghanistan, he was moved by Staff Sgt. Workman’s valor and selflessness, which is emblematic of the duty and sacrifice of the 9/11 generation of veterans who have given so much across countless deployments.”

He said that Biden has “devoted himself wholeheartedly on a multitude of overseas trips and in domestic interactions” to “honoring and recognizing those who have served our nation in uniform.”

The Post reported that Biden, during his 2008 Afghanistan trip, watched Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez give a Bronze Star for valor to Spec. Miles Foltz, who rescued a wounded soldier amid Taliban fire.

The Hill has also reached out to the Biden campaign for comment. 

Biden told The Post and Courier on Thursday that he had not read The Washington Post’s article fact-checking his retelling of the war story but denied conflating several events. 

“I don’t understand what they’re talking about, but the central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said,” Biden told the newspaper. “He refused the medal. I put it on him, he said, ‘Don’t do that to me, sir. He died. He died.”

He denied “that there’s anything I said about that that wasn’t the essence of the story.”

“The story was that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save — and risked his life saving — died,” Biden told the South Carolina newspaper. “That’s the beginning, middle and end. The rest of you guys can take it and do what you want with it.”

Biden has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks following a series of gaffes on the campaign trail.

He wrongly said he was serving as vice president when he met with students after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting in 2018, more than a year after he was no longer serving as vice president.

He also said that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids” before correcting himself to say "wealthy kids."

The gaffes have drawn parallels with frequent misstatements by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE and raised questions about the extent to which veracity will matter to voters in 2020.

Biden has maintained a commanding lead in most polls of the Democratic primary field.