President Joe Biden took advantage of his one-on-one meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday to pick up the story of an Amtrak driver who allegedly congratulated him on driving 2 million kilometers on the rail service – although he died before the story allegedly took place.
After Biden noted that Johnson had traveled from New York to Washington, DC on Amtrak for their White House meeting, he proclaimed to Johnson and the gathered media that “I have to tell you a quick story that has nothing to do with it. see with anything ”.
The president began by recalling that when he was vice president, “The Secret Service didn’t like me traveling on Amtrak because there were too many options for people to cause trouble along the way. But I insisted on doing it.
“One day,” Biden continued, “they wrote in the diary, ‘Biden goes through a million…” – and I think – don’t hold me to the exact number – I think it was – “… three hundred and fifty thousand miles on Air Force Two.
When Biden picked up the train back to Delaware that Friday, he continued, he was greeted by “a guy, who was number three in New Jersey with the seniority as a conductor, [who] walked over and grabbed me and he said, “Joey, baby! ” [and] grab my cheek. I thought the Secret Service was going to shoot him.
In a May speech marking Amtrak’s 50th anniversary, Biden told an identical story and identified the conductor as Angelo Negri. He made no identification in the Oval Office on Tuesday.
“He said, ‘Joey, big deal. 1.3 million miles on Amtrak ‘- I mean, on Air Force Two, “the president continued. “Do you know how many miles you have driven on Amtrak? And I said, ‘No.’ He said, “Well, at the retirement dinner we solved the problem. He said, “36 years in the Senate; X number of years as… ‘- at this stage -‘… as vice-president; averaging 131 days a year, 257 miles a day. Joey, you have driven over 2 million miles. Big deal.’ “
While the story made the gathered media laugh, there are issues with its accuracy, which have been pointed out by various fact-checkers.
First, Biden did not say he crossed the 1.3 million kilometer mark as vice president until September 2016. This was more than two years after Negri died at the age of 83 in May 2014, 21 years after he retired from Amtrak as a conductor.
Second, Biden said in the May speech that Negri told him he had driven 1.5 million miles on Amtrak, not the 2 million miles he claimed on Tuesday.
It is not known how often Negri and Biden saw each other after the former retired. The White House told The Post in May that Negri could have attended two events as a guest of Biden while he was vice president: the re-opening of the Amtrak station in Wilmington, Del. as Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Railroad Station in 2011 and an Obama-era stimulus-promoting event in 2009 or 2010. In either case, the event would have taken place long before Biden reached the $ 1.3 million mark.
Tuesday wasn’t the first time Biden had been caught in a lie. Earlier this month, the White House admitted that the president did not visit the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh following the murder of 11 worshipers in 2018 – although Biden claimed he did.
As Biden recalled “spending time at” and “going to” the synagogue, the administration was forced to sheepishly admit that he was actually referring to “a call he had with” Rabbi Tree of Life in 2019 ”.
Last year, Biden claimed he “had the great honor of being arrested” in South Africa in the 1970s as he “tried to see [Nelson Mandela] on Robbens Island ”, where Mandela was imprisoned until 1990. He said Mandela later thanked him for this.
Biden later admitted, “I wasn’t arrested, I was arrested. I couldn’t get to where I wanted to go.
In 2019, Biden’s campaign was forced to change its plan to tackle climate change after social media users and conservative media pointed out that some of the language appeared to have been borrowed from progressive action groups. and to media sites.
Biden has also been accused of plagiarizing late Canadian political leader Jack Layton in his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last year. The following month, Delaware State University denied that Biden attended classes there after claiming he “started” at the historically black institution.
Most famously, Biden dropped out of the 1988 Democratic presidential primary after admitting plagiarizing a law school article and was exposed for raising bad credit lines that had been used by Britain’s Labor Party leader. era, Neil Kinnock.