Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. was born in November 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and lived there for ten years before moving to, and growing up in, New Castle County, Delaware. He graduated from Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware in 1961. In 1965 he earned his undergraduate degree (with majors in history and political science) from the University of Delaware in Newark, and in 1968 he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. Biden then found work as a public defender in Wilmington, Delaware. He also spent some time working as an attorney for a member of the Black Panther Party.
In 1972 Biden ran successfully for one of Delaware’s seats in the U.S. Senate, beating Republican incumbent J. Caleb Boggs.
Biden became a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January 1975, and of the Senate Judiciary Committee two years later.
Just 16 days prior to Biden’s January 3, 1973 swearing-in as a senator, his then-wife Neilia Hunter and the couple’s three children were involved in an automobile accident. Neilia and daughter Naomi died from the injuries they sustained, while Biden’s two sons, Beau and Hunter, eventually made full recoveries.
For many years thereafter, Biden would claim that his wife and daughter had been killed by a “drunk driver.” For example, in mid-September 2001 he told an audience at the University of Delaware: “It was an errant driver who stopped to drink instead of drive and hit a tractor-trailer, hit my children and my wife and killed them.”
But Biden’s claim was false. Curtis C. Dunn, the man driving the truck that broadsided Mrs. Biden’s vehicle, was never charged with drunken driving. In fact, some investigators thought at the time that the accident had occurred because Biden’s wife pulled into the intersection not having noticed Dunn’s approaching truck. “The rumor about alcohol being involved by either party, especially the truck driver, is incorrect,” said Delaware Superior Court Judge Jerome O. Herlihy, the chief deputy attorney general who worked with crash investigators in 1972. Each time Biden uttered his false account of the event, Dunn’s family suffered great anguish.
Dunn’s daughter, Pamela Hamill, was so disturbed by Biden’s false recitation of the events surrounding his wife’s death, that she wrote the senator a letter expressing the profound grief that had afflicted her father until his death in 1999. According to the Newark Post: “Biden responded in a handwritten note, which, in part, reads, ‘All that I can say is I am sorry for all of us and please know that neither I or my sons feel any animosity whatsoever.'”
But a few years later, in a 2007 speech at the University of Iowa, Biden told the same lie once again, saying: “Let me tell you a little story. I got elected when I was 29, and I got elected November the 7th. And on Dec. 18 of that year, my wife and three kids were Christmas shopping for a Christmas tree. A tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly — and I never pursued it — drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family and killed my wife instantly, and killed my daughter instantly, and hospitalized my two sons, with what were thought to be at the time permanent, fundamental injuries.”
In 2008, Hamill demanded that Biden apologize publicly for having lied yet again about her late father. When the senator did not respond, Hamill sent him a registered letter. Eventually, after CBS aired an accurate television report about the accident, Hamill said that Biden called her and “apologized for hurting my family in any way.”
When Biden was sworn in to office at his son’s hospital bedside in Wilmington, Delaware on January 5, 1973 — just 18 days after his wife’s fatal car accident — he became the fifth-youngest senator in American history. Biden would win each of his reelection bids — in 1978, 1984, 1990, 1996, and 2002 — with relative ease, becoming the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Delaware’s history.
When Biden ran for the Senate in 1972, an election which he won by a margin of by just 1.4 percent, he supported busing as a public policy. But as it became increasingly clear that the vast majority of Biden’s majority-white constituents passionately opposed the policy, the senator reversed his position. In September 1975, for instance, he supported a federal anti-busing amendment proposed by Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, a former segregationist. Later that same month, Biden also supported an amendment introduced by Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, to forbid the busing of children to any school other than the one nearest to their homes.
In a September 1975 interview with the Washington Post, Biden boasted about the love and respect that Delaware’s black community felt for him: “I still walk down the street in the black side of town. Mousey and Chops and all the boys at 13th, and — I can walk in those pool halls, and quite frankly don’t know another white man involved in Delaware politics who can do that kind of thing.”
In yet another 1975 interview — this one with NPR — Biden argued that black people in fact preferred segregation because they felt it was in their best interests:
“I think the concept of busing … that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride a rejection of the entire black awareness concept, where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied; and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality….
“There are those of we social planners who think somehow that if we just subrogate [sic] man’s individual characteristics and traits by making sure that a presently a heterogeneous society becomes a totally homogeneous society, that somehow we’re going to solve our social ills. And quite to the contrary, I think the concept of busing, which implicit in that concept is the question you just asked or the statement within the question you just asked, that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride, is a rejection of the entire black awareness concept where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied, and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality. And I think that’s a healthy, solid proposal….
“I give you my word as a Biden, I put in over 100 hours, by far — I would say close to 300 hours — on just torturing this [anti-busing concept]. Calling my staff together, and the blacks on my staff together, saying ‘Look, this is what I think. Do you think I am [racist]? Is there something in me that’s deep-seated that I don’t know?’”
Biden’s present-day account of his voting record on busing is highly misleading. In a March 2018 interview with the “Pod Save America” podcast, he said: “I have never, ever, ever voted for anything I thought was wrong. In the middle of the single most extensive busing order in all the United States history, in my state, I voted against an amendment, cast the deciding vote, to allow courts to keep busing as a remedy. Because there are some things that are worth losing [elections] over.” In short, Biden singled out and highlighted his lone pro-busing vote from an anti-busing record that lasted for years.
Member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee
On June 17, 1977, Biden married schoolteacher Jill Tracy Jacobs.
Following is an overview of Biden’s policy positions and his voting record on key pieces of legislation during his years in the Senate:
Opposed Funding for South Vietnam in 1970s
Shortly after he was first elected to the Senate, Biden voted against U.S. funding to help the South Vietnamese government stave off its North Vietnamese Communist invaders. He insisted that “the United States has no obligation to evacuate one — or 100,001 — South Vietnamese.” Biden’s vote, which was in line with the votes of most in Congress’ new Democrat majority, paved the way for the ultimate fall of Saigon (in April 1975) and the subsequent mass slaughter of Indochinese peasants.
Favored Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 Rise to Power in Iran
In 1979 Senator Biden shared President Jimmy Carter‘s belief that the fall of the Shah in Iran and the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini’s rule represented progress for human rights in that country. Throughout the ensuing 444-day hostage crisis, during which Khomeini’s extremist acolytes routinely paraded the blindfolded American captives in front of television cameras and threatened them with execution, Biden opposed strong action against the mullahs and called for dialogue.
Opposed Reagan’s Funding of Nicaraguan Contras in 1980s
Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s effort to fund the Contras, an anti-Communist rebel group in Nicaragua. As the New York Sun points out:
Opposed Reagan Military Buildup in 1980s
Throughout the 1980s, Biden opposed Reagan’s proactive means of dealing with the Soviet Union. Biden instead favored détente — which, in practice, meant Western subsidies that would have enabled the moribund USSR to remain solvent much longer than it ultimately did. Biden was a leading critic of the Reagan defense buildup, specifically vis a vis the MX missile, the B-l bomber, and the Trident submarine.
Biden criticized President Reagan for his “continued adherence” to the goal of developing a missile defense system known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, calling the President’s insistence on the measure “one of the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft.”
Biden’s opposition to missile defense continued for decades thereafter:
On July 24, 2001, on July 24, 2001, Biden chaired a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in which he said in a prepared statement:
“I worry that funds devoted to missile defense, or the recent tax cut, are hurting our ability to meet these more current and realistic threats. And I worry that a narrow-minded pursuit of missile defense, without having any notion of what missile defense to develop, could derail both our programs in Russia, as well as our negotiations with North Korea.”
On July 31, 2007, Biden said:
“In 2001, Bush’s new foreign affairs team were so intent on going ahead with Reagan’s Star Wars missile defense shield that they were willing to pull out of earlier arms control treaties to get there, inviting, in my view, another arms race. The missile defense system seemed to be the perfect metaphor for the neoisolationist policy. Let’s arm the heavens, they were saying, and protect the US, the rest of the world be damned. The [Bush] administration had said they were willing to walk away from the decades-old ABM Treaty in order to unilaterally develop and deploy the missile defense system, and now they were putting real money behind it. They were willing to put tens of billions of dollars into the Maginot line in the sky that could quite likely set off another arms race, while cutting funding for a program to help Russia destroy its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons before they got into the hands of terrorists.”
On December 13, 2007, Biden said:
“[We should] cut somewhere in the order of $20 billion a year out of the military for special programs, from Star Wars, to a new atomic weapon, to the F-22, to the Nimitz-Class Destroyer. You can save $350 billion. That would allow me to do everything I want to do — my priorities on education, health care and the environment — and still bring down the deficit by $150 billion.”
Biden believes that global warming is caused by industrial and automotive pollution, and that broad and immediate action must be taken to curb its effects. In 2007 he co-sponsored the Boxer–Sanders Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, perhaps the most stringent climate bill in the history of the Senate. Labeling the U.S. as the world’s “largest emitter of greenhouse gases,” the bill sought to implement a cap-and-trade system requiring the U.S. to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Biden has called for the raising of fuel-economy standards for automobiles to an average of 40 miles per gallon by 2017.
During a September 2008 vice presidential debate against his Republican opponent Sarah Palin, Biden said: “I think it [climate change] is manmade. It’s clearly manmade. If you don’t understand what the cause is, you cannot come up with a solution.”
Alaskan Oil Pipeline
In the midst of the Arab oil embargo of 1973, Biden was one of only five U.S. senators to vote against the first Alaskan pipeline bill. That pipeline has since yielded many billions of barrels of oil for the United States.
In 2006 he voted against a bill “providing for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico.”
And in 2007 he voted against a bill that would have allowed for natural gas exploration and extraction off the coast of Virginia.
Regarding the use of coal, Biden has said: “We’re not supporting clean coal,” and “no coal plants here in America.”
His Roman Catholic beliefs notwithstanding, Biden believes that abortion should remain legal in the United States, and that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision should not be overturned. “The best policy for our country on the question of abortion is a policy of government neutrality,” he once said. “Put another way: I do not believe that the government should be involved in making judgments on whether a woman can, or should have an abortion, or — if she chooses to do so — in paying for that abortion.”
In 1997 Biden voted against the continuance of a policy stipulating that federal health insurance plans would not pay for abortions except in cases where the woman’s life was in danger or the pregnancy was the result of incest or rape.
In 2004 Biden voted against a bill that would have attached criminal penalties to the killing or injuring of a fetus while carrying out a violent crime on a pregnant woman.
In July 2006 he voted against parental notification laws and against punishing those who would transport minors across state lines to get an abortion.
In 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2003, Biden voted in favor of bills to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion.
In 2007, Biden received an “F” rating from the Gun Owners of America, and in 2008 he garnered a 7% rating from the National Rifle Association — all for his consistent record of voting to limit the rights of gun owners and manufacturers.
Biden also voted in favor of exposing the firearms industry to potentially crippling lawsuits when guns they produce are used in criminal activity.
In 2007 Biden voted against a bill permitting the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General “to authorize foreign intelligence acquisition concerning those reasonably believed to be outside of the U.S., provided that written certification is presented that the procedure does not constitute electronic surveillance under existing law, the surveillance is made with the assistance of a communications provider, and the significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”
Immigration & the Border
Biden voted “Yes” on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security, and “Yes” on allowing more foreign workers into the U.S. for farm work.
In 2006 he voted in favor of erecting a fence on the U.S./Mexico border, but later explained that for him, the vote was an anti-drug trafficking vote, not one aimed at curbing illegal immigration.“I voted for the fence related to drugs,” Biden said. “A fence will stop 20 kilos of cocaine coming through that fence. It will not stop someone climbing over it or around it.”
In 2007 Biden voted against a bill to prohibit illegal aliens convicted of serious crimes — such as aggravated felonies, domestic violence, stalking, violation of protection orders, crimes against children, or the illegal purchase or sale of firearms — from gaining legal status.
That same year, he voted to scrap a point-based immigration system (i.e., a system which seeks to ensure that people with skills that society needs are given preference for entry into the United States). He advocates instead a system focusing on the reunification of family members, even if that means permitting the foreign relatives of illegal aliens to join the latter in America.
Biden voted in favor of continuing to send federal funds to sanctuary cities.
Biden voted against requiring a photo ID from people registering to vote.
He voted “No” on declaring English the official language of the United States.
In 2006, Senator Biden received an 8 percent rating from the U.S. Border Control (a nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to ending illegal immigration and securing our America’s borders), signifying that his voting record reflected an open-borders stance.
Throughout his Senate career, Biden, with few exceptions, generally supported higher taxes, though he did vote against specific tax increases which were advanced by Republican presidents.
When President Reagan pushed for across-the-board-tax cuts in 1981, Biden twice voted for bills that would have watered down Reagan’s proposal. When the full Reagan tax cuts came up for a final vote, however, Biden voted in favor of them, as did 88 of his 99 Senate colleagues.
In March 1983 Biden voted for a $40 billion increase in Social Security taxes.
In June 1986 Biden supported Democrat Senator George Mitchell’s effort to raise the top income tax rate to 35 percent.
In October 1990 Biden voted against President George H.W. Bush’s proposed 5-year, $164-billion tax hike.
Also in 1990, he supported an amendment sponsored by then-Senator Al Gore to raise the income-tax rate on middle-class Americans (i.e., married couples earning more than $78,400 a year and individuals earning more than $47,050) from 28 percent to 33 percent.
In August 1993 Biden voted in favor of Bill Clinton’s proposed $241 billion in new taxes over five years.
In May 2001 Biden voted against both of President George W. Bush’s major tax cut proposals — one for $350 billion and another for $1.35 trillion over a ten-year period.
In all but three of the 16 years spanning 1992 to 2007, the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) — which grades each member of Congress on taxing and spending issues — gave Biden an “F” rating. In 2007, NTU gave him a 4 percent rating and ranked him 94th out of 100 senators.
On September 18, 2008, Biden (who was then Barack Obama’s vice presidential running mate) said this about Obama’s proposed tax hike on people earning more than $250,000 per year: “We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people…. It’s time [for high earners] to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”
In 1987 Biden was a key player in preventing the confirmation of President Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, warning that Bork would strip minorities, women, and children of their civil rights.
In later years, Biden similarly (though unsuccessfully) sought to derail the Supreme Court nominations of Clarence Thomas, William Rehnquist, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito, who, like Bork, were all strict constructionists who opposed judicial activism; i.e., they subscribed to the tenet that a Justice’s duty is to interpret the law and the Constitution as it is written, and not to legislate from the bench.
The First Gulf War
In 1990 Biden opposed President George H.W. Bush’s decision to forcibly drive Saddam Hussein‘s army of occupation out of Kuwait. He stated that the U.S. had no “vital interests” in repelling the invasion, and he predicted that American casualties would be astronomical in number.
The 9/11 Attacks: Biden Calls for U.S. to Send $200 Million to Iran
Shortly after 9/11, Biden told his staff that America should respond to the worst act of terrorism in its history by showing the Arab world that the U.S. was not seeking to destroy it. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” he said.
Iraq War (2003-07)
Prior to the Iraq War, Biden consistently spoke out about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. “He’s a long-term threat and a short-term threat to our national security,” Biden said of Hussein in 2002. “… We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world.” Also in 2002, Biden said: “Saddam must be dislodged from his weapons or dislodged from power.”
Consequently, in October 2002 Biden voted “Yes” on authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. He continued to express his resolve on the matter in 2004, emphatically stating: “I voted to give the President the authority to use force in Iraq. I still believe my vote was just.”
In 2005 Biden told the Brookings Institution: “We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out — equally a mistake.”
In April 2007 Biden appeared with the late newsman Tim Russert and defended Vice President Dick Cheney and the international community’s assessment of Saddam’s WMD (weapons of mass destruction) program. “[E]veryone in the world thought he had them [WMD]…. This was not some, some Cheney, you know, pipe dream.”
But later in 2007, while running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden said that his 2002 vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq “was a mistake” that he regretted. “I vastly underestimated the incompetence of this administration,” Biden said during a 2007 Democratic primary debate in Carson City, Nevada.
Iraq War (Troop Surge of 2007)
In June 2007 Biden told the Boston Globe that General David Petraeus’s “surge” strategy of sending an extra 20,000 troops to Iraq “is not going to work either tactically or strategically” in terms of quelling the insurgency. On Meet the Press, Biden said that while Petraeus “believes that it [the surge] is a good idea,” “[v]irtually no one else believes it’s a good idea.”
In 2007, Biden scolded then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for testifying (to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations) that for the foreseeable future the Bush administration would not be negotiating with Syria or Iran because “they are not engaging in constructive behavior.” Said Biden:
“I do not agree with your statement, Madame Secretary, that negotiations with Iran and Syria would be extortion, nor did most of the witnesses we heard in this committee during the last month. The proper term, I believe and they believe, is diplomacy, which is not about paying a price but finding a way to protect our interests without engaging in military conflict. It is, I might add, the fundamental responsibility of the Department of State, to engage in such diplomacy, as you well know.”
Biden is a defender of affirmative action (i.e., race-, ethnicity-, and sex-based preferences) in academia and the business world.
He was also a supporter of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Biden’s response to a November 2006 U.S. Airways incident involving six Islamic imams is instructive. The imams in question were removed from a plane shortly before takeoff because several passengers and crew members had become alarmed by what they perceived to be their (the imams’) suspicious behavior. The Council on American-Islamic Relations subsequently filed a lawsuit on behalf of the imams, against both the airline and the complaining passengers. In response to the suit, two Republican congressman, Peter King and Steven Pearce, crafted an amendment seeking to create legal immunity for citizens who report suspicious behavior in good faith. The amendment was initially approved by lawmakers in March 2007, but Senator Biden voted against it.
Biden first ran for U.S. President in 1987. He was considered a strong contender for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but in April of that year controversy descended on Biden’s campaign when he told several lies about his academic record in law school. In an April 3, 1987 appearance on C-SPAN, a questioner asked Biden about his law school grades. In response, an angry Biden looked at his questioner and said:
“I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my — in my class to have a full academic scholarship. In the first year in law school I decided didn’t want to be in law school and ended up in the bottom two-thirds of my class, and then decided I wanted to stay, went back to law school, and in fact ended up in the top half of my class. I won the international moot-court competition. I was the outstanding student in the political science department at the end of my year. I graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school and 165 credits — I only needed 123 credits. And I’d be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you’d like Frank.”
But each of those claims proved to be untrue. In reality, Biden had: (a) earned only two college degrees — in history and political science — at the University of Delaware in Newark, where he graduated only 506th in a class of 688; (b) attended law school on a half scholarship that was based on financial need; and (c) eventually graduated 76th in a law-school class of 85. “I exaggerate when I’m angry,” Biden would later concede, “but I’ve never gone around telling people things that aren’t true about me.”
Then, in August 1987 Biden plagiarized a portion of a speech made by British politician Neil Kinnock. Before long, revelations surfaced that Biden also had plagiarized extensive portions of an article in law school and consequently had received a grade of “F” for the course. (He eventually was permitted to retake the course, and the failure was removed from his transcript.)
As a result of these embarrassing examples of dishonesty, Biden withdrew from the presidential campaign on September 23, 1987 and resumed his duties as a U.S. Senator.
In 2004 Biden told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the U.S. had no moral authority to preach about the need for democracy in the Middle East. “We don’t have much of a democracy ourselves,” he said. “Remember our own presidential election; remember Florida!” — a reference to the disputed ballot recount in 2000.
As early as June 2005, Biden first made public his intention to seek the nomination for U.S. President in 2008. On January 31, 2007 he officially entered the presidential race. His campaign failed to gain any traction, however, and on January 3, 2008 he withdrew from the race, which by then was being dominated by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
In July 2006, Biden made a remark that was intended to be humorous, but sparked some criticism: “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. And I’m not joking.”
In a February 2007 interview, Biden, in the course of evaluating presidential rival Barack Obama, said: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
At a June 2007 Democratic presidential forum at Howard University, Biden responded to a question about AIDS in the black community by saying: “I spent last summer going through the black sections of my town holding rallies in parks trying to get black men to understand it’s not unmanly to wear a condom. Getting women to understand they can say no. Getting people in the position where testing matters. I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack [Obama] got tested for AIDS. There’s no shame in being tested for AIDS.” At that point, Obama said, “I just gotta make clear I got tested with Michelle [Obama] when we were in Kenya in Africa. I don’t want any confusion here about what’s going on.” Biden then said, “I got tested to save my life, because I had 13 pints of blood transfusion.”
In an October 27, 2007 interview with The Washington Post‘s editorial board, Biden, while discussing race and education, gave the impression that he believed that the reason why so many District of Columbia schools failed, was that they had large numbers of nonwhite minority students. After criticizing the Bush administration education policies, Biden attempted to explain why schools in Iowa performed better academically than those in Washington, DC.: “There’s less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you’re dealing with.”
Prior to his selection as Obama’s running mate on August 23, 2008, Biden had been consistently effusive in his praise of John McCain, the eventual Republican nominee.
Conversely, Biden had often been critical of Obama and his judgment on matters of import:
During his vice presidential campaign, Biden occasionally exhibited a tendency to exaggerate and misrepresent facts, just as he had done in 1987. At a September 9th fundraiser, for example, he spoke about “the superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down [during a February 2008 fact-finding mission Biden had taken with fellow senators John Kerry and Chuck Hagel]. John McCain wants to know where [Osama] bin Laden and the gates of Hell are? I can tell him where. That’s where al Qaeda is. That’s where bin Ladin is.” During a speech in Baltimore later that month, Biden said: “If you want to know where al Qaeda lives, you want to know where bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.” Two days after that, in Cincinnati, Biden reiterated that al Qaeda had re-established a safe haven “in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where my helicopter was recently forced down.”
Though Biden’s implication was that his plane had been forced down by enemy fire, in fact the unscheduled landing was due to a severe snowstorm that had suddenly hit the area. “It went pretty blind, pretty fast and we were around some pretty dangerous ridges,” John Kerry told the Associated Press immediately after the incident. “So the pilot exercised his judgment that we were better off putting down there, and we all agreed…. We sat up there and traded stories. We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs, but we didn’t have to do it…. Other than getting a little cold, it was fine.” Biden’s plane was traveling with air cover from an F-16.
In the midst of a major stock-market crisis in late September 2008, Biden told CBS interviewer Katie Couric that it was incumbent upon the U.S President to demonstrate leadership and allay public fears by clearly explaining how the crisis will be solved. Said Biden: “Part of what being a leader does is to instill confidence, is to demonstrate that he or she knows what they are talking about and to communicat[e] to people … this is how we can fix this…. When the stock market crashed [in October 1929], Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’”
Biden’s error was twofold: First, when the stock market crashed in 1929, Herbert Hoover was the U.S. President; FDR would not take office until March 4, 1933. Nor could any President have addressed the American people on television in 1929, because TV would not be introduced to the public until a decade later, at the 1939 World’s Fair.
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were elected President and Vice President of the United States, respectively. The Obama-Biden ticket defeated the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin by a margin of 364 electoral votes to 162. Obama-Biden received a total of 64,538,980 votes (52.5%) from the American public, vs. McCain-Palin’s 56,802,609 (46.2%).
In the summer of 2009, Vice President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, collaborated with two individuals – Chris Heinz (the stepson of Senator John Kerry) and Devon Archer (Chris Heinz’s former college roommate who had served as a major fundraiser for Senator Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign) – to form Rosemont Capital, an investment firm that was, according to author Peter Schweizer, “positioned to strike profitable deals overseas with foreign governments and officials with whom the U.S. government was negotiating.” Rosemont Capital also had several separate branches, including Rosemont Seneca Partners and Rosemont Realty.
Schweizer asserts that the financial relationship that Hunter Biden, Chris Heinz, and Devon Archer established with China, strongly influenced the Obama administration’s posture toward that country. Consider, for instance, what occurred in 2013 and 2014, while China – to the deep consternation of other countries in the region – was unilaterally creating artificial islands equipped with sophisticated military bases in the South China Sea and claiming ownership of them. In December 2013, Joe Biden, accompanied by Hunter, visited China, where he publicly emphasized the importance of an American-Chinese trading relationship but avoided talking about what China was doing in the South China Sea. During the Bidens’ stay in China, reports journalist Tyler O’Neil: “Hunter Biden was negotiating a major deal between Rosemont Seneca [Partners] and the state-owned Bank of China. As the vice president discussed China’s trade with the United States, his son was putting these economic ties into practice, and the U.S. effectively caved in the conflict over the South China Sea.”
Ten days after the Bidens’ visit to China, the state-run Bank of China created an investment fund with Rosemont Seneca Partners, called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). In 2014, writes Schweizer, BHR became an “anchor investor” in the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC), a state-owned nuclear company which was under FBI investigation at the time, and which eventually charged with stealing U.S. nuclear secrets. “In short,” says Schweizer, “the Chinese government was literally funding a business [BHR] that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers.” As a result of that business relationship, Rosemont Seneca Partners, unlike any other Western investment firm, “could take Chinese government funds and invest them in China or outside the country, even in the U.S.”
When Senator Kerry visited China in July 2014, he, much like Vice President Biden, echoed President Xi Jinping’s call for a bilateral commitment to “boost Sino-U.S. economic ties.” “China and the United States represent the greatest economic alliance trading partnership in the history of humankind,” said Kerry.
Meanwhile, a former subsidiary of the Chinese government, Gemini Investments, was trying to purchase the Rosemont Realty branch of Rosemont Capital. (Gemini’s parent company, Sino-Ocean Land, grew out of the the China Ocean Shipping Company, which in turn has close ties to the People’s Liberation Army Navy. And the director of Gemini Investments, Li Ming, served for several terms as a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s elite conference.)
By December 2014, Gemini had bought out the Rosemont Opportunities Fund II for $34 million.
When Kerry visited China again in May 2015, he emphasized, as Schweizer puts it, that “the two powers shouldn’t let the South China Sea issue get in the way of broader cooperation.” Three months later, in August 2015, Gemini Investments bought a 75% stake in Rosemont Realty, including a $3 billion commitment from China.
In September 2015, BHR teamed up with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) – a Chinese state-owned military aviation contractor which in 2014 had stolen technologies related to the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter – to purchase Henniges, an American “dual-use” (meaning civilian and military uses) parts manufacturer. The transaction gave 49% ownership of Henniges to BHR, and 51% ownership to AVIC.
Because the Henniges technology was considered a strategic asset with implications for American national security, it was on the restricted Commerce Control List, and thus the sale to BHR and AVIC could not be permitted without the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a panel composed of several of the most powerful members of the cabinet — the Attorney General as well as the Secretaries of Defense, Commerce, Treasury, Homeland Security, Energy, and State. (The State Department, of course, was headed by Kerry.)
Schweizer adds that even after it was well known that “Chinese companies have a long history of stealing American nuclear secrets,” “Rosemont did not change its relationship with its Chinese partners, nor did BHR divest from the state-owned Chinese company [CGNPC] that had been stealing America’s nuclear secrets.”
Moreover, in 2016 BHR invested in China Molybdenum, a state-owned company with deep ties to the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party, and whose goal is to acquire large quantities of molybdenum and other rare-earth minerals that have both military and nuclear applications. Then, in the latter part of 2016, China Molybdenum helped BHR purchase a 24% stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As Schweizer sums it up: “[T]he son of the vice president and a confidant of the secretary of state where invested in deals that would help Beijing win [the global minerals] race.”
On May 9, 2011, Biden delivered the following remarks to the Opening Session of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue:
“I made my first trip to China as a young man, meeting with Deng Xiaoping in 1979, in April of ’79…. I think we were the first delegation to meet after normalization … And on that trip when we met with then Vice Premier Deng and witnessed the changes that were being initiated, beginning to spark China’s remarkable — absolutely remarkable transformation, even back then it was clear that there was — that great things were happening. And there was also a debate — there was a debate here in the United States and quite frankly throughout most of the West as whether a rising China was in the interest of the United States and the wider world. As a young member of a Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote and I said and I believed then what I believe now: That a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China but for America and the world writ large.”
In July 2009, when the debate over healthcare reform was in full swing, Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that unless the Democrat-supported healthcare plan became law, “we’re going to go bankrupt as a nation.” Biden continued: “Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.”
While the Obama administration was drawing down America’s military presence in Iraq in 2010, Biden said the following in February of that year:
“I am very optimistic about Iraq. I think it’s going to be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government. I spent — I’ve been there 17 times now. I go about every two months — three months. I know every one of the major players in all of the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.”
After President Obama and Vice President Biden completed the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq in December 2011, the genocidal terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State) filled the vacuum and increased its terrorist activities dramatically. As ISIS continued to expand the breadth of its dominion, especially in northern and western Iraq, it earned a fearsome reputation for unspeakable barbarism as manifested in kidnappings, forced conversions, mass slaughters, and public executions via such methods as crucifixions, beheadings, pushing people off the tops of tall buildings, confining people in cages and burning them alive, and beating people to death before ceremoniously dragging their corpses through the streets.
In addition to the aforementioned atrocities, ISIS also engaged in the widespread destruction of “pagan” archaeological relics, museum collections of priceless statues and sculptures dating back thousands of years, and ancient shrines considered holy by Christians and Jews. Charging that these items promoted idolatry, one ISIS member said: “The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him.” When ISIS blew up the Mosul Public Library in Iraq, sending 10,000 books and more than 700 rare manuscripts up in flames, another ISIS terrorist declared: “These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned.”
On June 29, 2014, ISIS announced the existence of what it called a new Islamic caliphate that would thenceforth go by the name “Islamic State” (IS) and would recognize no existing national borders. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for his part, declared himself master of all the world’s Muslims and began using the name Al-Khalifah Ibrahim.
By July 2014, IS had overrun every Syrian city between Deir Ezzor and the Iraq border. As of September, the organization was believed to have somewhere between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters in its ranks. Among these were numerous foreign jihadists from the Arab world, the Caucasus, the U.S., and European countries like the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
By this time (August 2014), IS was the world’s wealthiest terror group, possessing some $2 billion in cash and other assets.
As of January 1, 2015, IS controlled at least 45 separate cities and towns across northern Iraq and eastern Syria. In December 2014, an IS spokesman ceremoniously announced his group’s genocidal intentions: “We will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of [whether] we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain…. For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines…. Our expansion will be rapid and perpetual. The Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. Those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed—150 million, 200 million or 500 million, it does not matter to us, we will kill them all.”
The rise and expansion of ISIS — which occurred as a direct result of the Obama-Biden administration’s ill-advised withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 — resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the Middle East. It was not until the Trump administration subsequently escalated America’s military support for ISIS’s adversaries, that the terror group was finally decimated.
When President Obama authorized the May 2011 mission in which a U.S. Navy SEAL team ultimately killed Osama bin Laden, Biden was the only one of Obama’s advisors who opposed the plan. Mark Bowden — author of a The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden — wrote in October 2008: “It was widely reported in the weeks and months after the raid that most, or at least many, of the president’s top advisors opposed the raid. That is not true. Nearly everyone present favored it. The only major dissenters were Biden and [then-Defense Secretary Robert] Gates, and before the raid Gates would change his mind.”
According to Bowden, the two options under consideration were a drone strike and the special operations raid. Most of the President’s advisors favored the latter. But when it was Biden’s turn to speak at the Situation Room meeting, he told Obama: “Mr. President, my suggestion is: don’t go.” Wrote Bowden, “Biden believed that if the president decided to choose either the air or the ground option, and if the effort failed, Obama could say goodbye to a second term…. So in the end, every one of the president’s top advisors except Biden was in favor of immediate action.”
Biden confirmed this account in January 2012, when he said that he had directly advised President Obama against the bin Laden raid. “Every single person in that room hedged their bet except Leon Panetta,” Biden recalled. “Leon said go. Everyone else said, 49 [percent], 51[ percent]. He [Obama] got to me. He said, ‘Joe, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘You know, I didn’t know we had so many economists around the table.’ I said, ‘We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.’”
But in October 2015, when Biden was contemplating the possibility of running for President, he altered his account of what had occurred in the lead-up to the bin Laden operation, telling an audience at George Washington University that he had given his direct support to President Obama after a cabinet meeting. Said Biden:
“It was something that was a difficult call for the president. So, we sat in the cabinet room at the end of the day making the decision. He said, ‘I want everybody’s opinion.’ Everybody went around the room. There were only two people who were definitive and absolutely certain: Leon Panetta said go and Bob Gates said don’t go, and others were 51-49, some ended up saying go, but it was such a close call. I joked and I said, ‘You all sound like 17 Larry Summers,’ the economist, on one hand then on the other. They said, ‘Joe, what would you do?’ There was a third option I didn’t really think we should do. I said, I think we should make one more pass with a UAV to see if it is him. The reason I did that is because I didn’t want to take a position to go if that was not where [Obama] was going to go. So as we walked out of the room and walked upstairs, I said, I told him my opinion that I thought he should go, but follow his own instincts. But it would have been a mistake – imagine if I had said in front of everyone, don’t go or go, and his decision was different. It undercuts that relationship. I never say what I think finally until I go up into the Oval with him alone.”
In a May 2012 television interview, Biden stated that he favored the legalization of gay marriage. This forced President Obama, who had been planning to wait until a later point in time (perhaps after the 2012 elections) before publicly adopting that same position, to announce immediately that he, too, was in favor of gay marriage. Biden’s gaffe came with significant political consequences for him. He apologized personally to Obama and offered to do all the less glamorous assignments — “every [expletive] job in the world,” as Biden put it — so long as he could still be included in major White House decisions. But from that point forward, White House staffers treated Biden with coldness; essentially froze him out of all internal discussions; prevented him from attending planning meetings; kept him out of key private dinners with fundraisers; limited his public appearance schedule; and failed to emphatically refute rumors that Hillary Clinton might replace him as the 2012 vice presidential candidate.
In an August 2012 campaign appearance before a predominantly African American crowd in Virginia, Biden quoted Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as having said that in his first 100 days as president “he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules — unchain Wall Street.” Then the vice president added angrily: “They’re going to put y’all back in chains!”
During an October 2, 2012 campaign stop in Charlotte, North Carolina, Biden misrepresented the Republicans’ economic plan as a proposal to lower taxes on the wealthy and raise taxes on the middle class. Said Biden: “This is deadly earnest. How they can justify — how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that’s been buried the last four years? How in the lord’s name can they justify raising their [the middle class’s] taxes with these tax cuts?”
In an October 4, 2012 campaign appearance in Iowa, Biden made reference to a Democratic proposal to let the Bush-era income tax rates for households making $250,000 or more expire (and thus increase) at the end of the year, while maintaining existing rates for everyone else. (This proposal was in contrast to the Republican plan, which called for maintaining the current rates for all income groups.) Said Biden: “On top of the trillions of dollars in spending that we have already cut, we’re going to ask the wealthy to pay more. My heart breaks. Come on, man.” Biden then made reference to a Republican claim that, as the vice president phrased it, “Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars..” “Guess what?” Biden continued. “Yes, we do, in one regard: We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut [i.e., whatever portion of the Bush-era tax cuts benefited high earners] expire so the middle class doesn’t have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super-wealthy. That’s not a tax raise. That’s called fairness where I come from.”
Speaking at the Conference on the Americas (in Washington, DC) on May 7, 2013, Biden said that every nation has to make “tough choices,” and continued: “In the United States, it means reforming our immigration system and 11 million undocumented men, women and children being able to come out of the shadows and be full participants in American life. Imagine that — the dignity … Granting them the dignity and respect they deserve.”
In September 2013, Biden was the keynote speaker at J Street’s 4th annual conference.
On January 7, 2014, Time magazine reported that in his soon-to-be-released memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, President Obama’s former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, wrote the following about Biden: “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
In a January 12, 2014 interview, Gates told CBS News: “[W]here I have particular problem with the vice president was in his encouragement of suspicion of the military and the senior military with the president. [Biden said] ‘You can’t trust these guys. They’re gonna try and jam you. They’re gonna try and box you in,’ and so on. And that did disturb me a lot.”
On January 20, 2014, Biden spoke at the annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast held by Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network. Condemning Republican-backed voter-identification laws, the VP said: “Our opponents know, they know, the single most dangerous thing to give us is the right to vote! They know what that is.” Further, Biden criticized the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down a section of the Voting Rights Act which required certain states and localities with a history of pre-1965 discrimination to have any changes to their election laws cleared by the Justice Department or a federal court. “I have to admit, I never thought we’d be fighting the fight again on voting rights,” Biden remarked.
The vice president also said that the U.S. was:
“And it’s way past time that we stop arguing whether every American has the right to adequate, affordable healthcare,” added Biden. “Thanks to Barack Obama, that fight is over and we are not going back, period.”
During a Black History Month event on February 25, 2014, Biden expressed frustration with a recent Supreme Court ruling that had struck down a provision of the Voting Rights Act that required certain (mostly Southern) jurisdictions with a pre-1965 history of voting suppression to pre-clear any changes in their voting laws (such as the implementation of Voter ID requirements, or changes to early-voting or same-day-voting regulations — with the Justice Department. Biden also claimed that new voter ID laws in North Carolina, Alabama and Texas were evidence of “hatred” and “zealotry.” Said the Vice President:
“At least 11 states have introduced legislation recently requiring voters to show ID at the polls, making existing voting laws more restrictive. Lawslike in North Carolina which imposed a new photo ID requirement, shortening early voting, and eliminating same-day registration and early voting. These guys never go away…. You guys [African Americans] know it, but it’s an important lesson for me. Hatred never, never ultimately goes away…. The zealotry of those who wish to limit the franchise cannot be smothered by reason…. This fight has been too long, this fight has been too hard, to do anything other than win — not on the margins, but flat-out win.”
In a March 2014 speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Summit, Biden said:
“Eleven million people living in the shadows I believed are already American citizens. These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to be able to contribute fully, and by that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans in my view…. Teddy Roosevelt said it better. He said, Americanism is not a question of birthplace or creed or a line of descent. It’s a question of principles, idealism and character….
“It takes a whole hell of a lot of courage to be sitting at a wooden kitchen somewhere anywhere in the world and say, you know, ‘I tell you what kids. Let’s all pick up and go to America where we don’t speak the language, where they don’t seem to want us, where it’s gonna be really, really rough to get there, but let’s go. Won’t that be fun?’
“All they want—they just want a decent life for their kids, a chance to contribute to a free society, a chance to put down roots and help build the next great American century. I really believe that. That’s what they’re fighting for.”
On June 6, 2014, the Obama administration announced that it would be paying approximately 100 American lawyers to help young illegal immigrants — a rapidly growing demographic — settle in the United States. Attorney General Eric Holder said that these hundred-or-so attorneys — dubbed “justice AmericaCorps” — would “protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society … particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings.”
The number of youths illegally crossing the border into the southern U.S. had reached staggering proportions since 2012, when President Obama had announced that his administration would no longer deport minors who were in the country illegally, so long as they met certain basic requirements. Whereas in 2011 about 6,000 young people were apprehended by border personnel, government officials now estimated that the corresponding totals would exceed 90,000 by the end of 2014, and 140,000 in 2015 — not including the many tens of thousands more who would avoid capture.
Notwithstanding this crisis — and the fact that the open southern border left the U.S. vulnerable to infiltration by Islamic terrorists who had long been known to be working with Mexican drug cartels — Biden, speaking at a National Association of Manufacturers’ meeting, called for a “constant, unrelenting stream” of new immigrants — “not dribbling [but] significant flows” that could bolster the national economy. “We need it badly from a purely — purely economic point of view,’ said Biden. The vice president later tweeted: “The final thing we need to do together is pass immigration reform … We need it badly. -VP at manufacturing summit.”
As the Daily Mail reported, Biden’s comments came as border patrol agents were “appealing to the federal government to help with the thousands of illegal children pouring across the border.”
In August 2014, the Daily Mail reported that according to author Ronald Kessler’s forthcoming book, The First Family Detail, Vice President Biden had spent more than a $1 million of taxpayers’ money traveling on Air Force Two for weekend and day trips between Washington, D.C. and his home in Wilmington, Delaware. Kessler claimed that when he filed a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2013 to get accurate numbers on the dates, details, and costs of Biden’s trips, the vice president’s deputy counsel, Jessica Hertz, instructed the Air Force not to provide the data. According to Kessler, an Air Force officer once told him: “They are covering up. We spent a lot of time compiling the records, but Biden’s office said logs for each flight would have to be consulted. This is a smokescreen to delay providing any records as long as possible.” These actions by Biden and his operatives were “unprecedented,” said Kessler, and contradictory to President Obama’s pledge that his administration would “apply a presumption of openness” in fulfilling FOIA requests.
Eventually, Kessler learned that between January 2009 and March 2013, Biden had flown back and forth between DC and Wilmington 225 times. But as the Daily Mail noted, “those trips actually required a total of 400 flights … because of what Kessler calls ‘deadhead’ trips — return flights when Biden was not on the plane.” All told, the cost of just the fuel and maintenance associated with those flights — and not including the salaries of the Air force Two and helicopter crew members — was $979,680.
A Secret Service agent reportedly told Kessler that “the Air Force Two guys pull their hair out over” Biden’s same-day trips back and forth between DC and Wilmington. The agents were also especially vexed, said Kessler, when Biden would travel to Wilmington one day and then jet back to Andrews Air Force Base the next morning to play a five-hour round of golf with Obama while the plane waited on the tarmac at Andrews.
Moreover, Kessler noted that when Obama in 2011 had placed Biden in charge of the administration’s Campaign to Cut government waste: (a) the president claimed that Biden would “hunt down and eliminate misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the federal government,” and (b) Biden told supporters of the administration that he was the “new sheriff in town.”
Also in July 2014, broadcaster and bestselling author Mark Levin reported that an “incredibly good source” had informed him that Biden sometimes flew to Delaware, at taxpayer expense, to get his haircuts.
At a September 16, 2014 conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, Biden made reference to his own son having met fellow members of the U.S. military in Iraq who were in need of legal help because of foreclosures and other problems that they and their families were facing back at home. Said the vice president: “That’s one of the things that he [Biden’s son] finds was most in need when he was over there in Iraq for a year. That people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being—I mean these Shylocks [predatory bankers] who took advantage of, um, these women and men while overseas.” The remark created controversy because it derives from the name of a ruthless Jewish money-lender in Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice and is widely considered anti-Semitic.
At a February 23, 2015 Black History Month event, Biden said: “A lot of wealthy white and black people aren’t bad but they control 1 percent of the economy and this cannot stand…. It’s not fair because the business experts are saying that concentration of wealth is stunting growth. So let’s do something that’s worthy of emancipation…. You know better than other groups that there is so much more to do. We find ourselves where a lot of disparities still exist…. We have a chance right now and in the next two years to make a fundamental change in that equation…. We know that 60 percent of jobs require a college education but middle class and poor folks have been left behind. That’s why we’re about changing the equation for working families in America and that’s why the president is focused on childcare to job training to college help and education to free community colleges. This is the way to change the equation and shame on us if we miss the opportunity.”
In February 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use. On April 21-22, 2014, Joe Biden, in his role as overseer of the Obama administration’s policy towards Ukraine, visited that country to urge its government to increase its natural gas production. That same month, British officials who were investigating allegations of money laundering by Burisma Holdings, a large Ukrainian natural gas company, froze a number of London bank accounts containing $23 million that belonged to Burisma owner and president Mykola Zlochevksy.
On May 13, 2014 — just three weeks after Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine — Hunter Biden was appointed to the Burisma board of directors. That position paid him approximately $50,000 per month, even though he had no background or expertise in either Ukrainian matters or natural gas.
In February 2015 Yarema was succeeded as Prosecutor General by Viktor Shokin, who continued the Ukrainian investigation into Burisma.
In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, publicly called for an investigation into Burisma president Zlochevsky.
According to journalist John Solomon: “[In] January 2016 … the Obama White House unexpectedly invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington to discuss fighting corruption in the country. The meeting, promised as training, turned out to be more of a pretext for the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine’s prosecutors to drop an investigation into the Burisma Holdings gas company that employed Hunter Biden and to look for new evidence in a then-dormant criminal case against eventual Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a GOP lobbyist.”
On February 2, 2016, the home of Burisma owner Zlochevksy was raided by the Ukrainian state prosecutor’s office. Joe Biden subsequently called Ukrainian president Poroshenko at least three times that same month, following the raid.
In March 2016 – while Prosecutor General Shokin was still actively investigating Burisma’s alleged corruption – Vice President Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to the Ukrainian government unless it agreed to fire Shokin immediately. Because the revocation of American aid would have been devastating to Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko caved to Biden’s threat and fired Shokin on March 29, replacing him with Yuriy Lutsenko. At the time of Shokin’s termination, he and other Ukrainian prosecutors were in the midst of preparing a request to interview Hunter Biden about his activities and the funds he was receiving from Ukraine.
In a sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin later testified that he had been told that the reason for his firing was that Joe Biden was troubled by the Burisma investigation. “The truth,” said Shokin, “is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors. On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and [to] consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation.”
And here is how Joe Biden himself – in a January 2018 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations – boastfully recollected his own role in getting Shokin fired:
“I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. I had gotten a commitment from [Ukrainian President] Poroshenko and from [Prime Minister] Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor [Shokin]. And they didn’t. So they said they had — they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to — or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, ‘you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president [Obama] said’ — I said, ‘call him’ [Obama]. I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.’ I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Biden claimed that he had pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin not because the prosecutor was investigating the vice president’s son, but rather, because Shokin himself was corrupt and incompetent. But that narrative was debunked by journalist John Solomon, who wrote in September 2019:
“Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative…. For instance, Burisma’s American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country’s chief prosecutor and offered ‘an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures’ about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government’s official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor’s firing was announced. In addition, Burisma’s American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team’s internal emails.
“The memos raise troubling questions. If the Ukraine prosecutor’s firing involved only his alleged corruption and ineptitude, why did Burisma’s American legal team refer to those allegations as ‘false information’? [And] if the firing had nothing to do with the Burisma case, as Biden has adamantly claimed, why would Burisma’s American lawyers contact the replacement prosecutor within hours of the termination and urgently seek a meeting in Ukraine to discuss the case?”
On August 12, 2019, an unidentified “whistleblower” from the intelligence community filed a complaint in which he expressed his own “urgent concern” regarding a July 25, 2019 conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The day prior to that phone call — July 24, 2019 — special counsel Robert Mueller had testified publicly before two separate congressional panels regarding his probe of President Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential race. Mueller’s testimony was disastrous for Democrats, as it demonstrated quite clearly that his long and costly investigation had not turned up any evidence of wrongdoing by Trump. Thus the Democrats now turned their attention immediately to the Trump-Zelensky phone call.
According to the new whistleblower, Trump on July 25th had asked Zelensky to look into why Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had been fired in 2016 as a result of political and financial threats by then-Vice President Joe Biden.
Critics and opponents of President Trump claimed that the whistleblower’s allegations provided evidence that Trump had sought to pressure Ukraine’s new president, Zelensky, to dig up political dirt on Trump’s rival, Joe Biden, as a precondition to Ukraine receiving nearly $400 million in congressionally approved military aid from the United States. They also asserted that Trump, seeking to extract a political quid-pro-quo from Zelensky, had delayed the issuance of that aid for 55 days, until its release in September 2019.
But as The Federalist website noted: “The formal complaint from an anti-Trump ‘whistleblower’ alleging various crimes by President Donald Trump is riddled with third-hand gossip and outright falsehoods…. The document itself is riddled not with evidence directly viewed by the complainant, but repeated references to what anonymous officials allegedly told the complainant.” Under traditional whistleblower rules – which required whistleblowers to provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings – this “whistleblower” would not have been able to file his complaint. But sometime between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community had secretly eliminated that rule; now, whistleblower complaints could be filed even by individuals who had only “heard about [wrongdoing] from others.”
On September 24, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that House Democrats would seek, because of what they viewed as the impropriety of President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky, to open an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
On October 8, 2019, newsman John Solomon reported that a newly unearthed document showed that Ukrainian officials in the NABU — an FBI-like anti-corruption agency in Ukraine — had already opened a new probe into Burisma Holdings, the firm on whose board Hunter Biden had served, five months prior to the July 25, 2019 telephone conversation between Presidents Trump and Zelensky. “The U.S. government had open-source intelligence and was aware as early as February of 2019 [when Petro Poroshenko was still Ukraine’s president] that the Ukrainian government was planning to reopen the Burisma investigation,” said Solomon. “This is long before the president ever imagined having a call with President Zelensky. This is a significant shift in the factual timeline.” This information, Solomon added, had been omitted from the whistleblower’s complaint recently lodged against Trump. Solomon’s revelation was monumentally significant because it meant that Trump’s calls for a Ukrainian investigation of Biden and Burisma would not have changed anything; the investigation had already been active for five months.
On October 10, 2019, it was learned that the whistleblower was a career CIA analyst who had been detailed to the National Security Council at the White House, where he had worked with Joe Biden during the latter’s tenure as vice president.
On October 30, 2019, journalist Paul Sperry published additional information about the whistleblower:
Federal documents reveal that the 33-year-old Ciaramella, a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia “collusion” investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election…. “He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” said a former NSC official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. Also, Ciaramella huddled for “guidance” with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, including former colleagues also held over from the Obama era whom Schiff’s office had recently recruited from the NSC. Schiff is the lead prosecutor in the impeachment inquiry. And Ciaramella worked with a Democratic National Committee operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, inviting her into the White House for meetings, former White House colleagues said.
For details about the impeachment inquiry and the testimony that was provided therein, click here.
In May 2020, leaked phone conversations between Biden and former Ukrainian President Poroshenko were made public by Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, who also claimed to be in possession of proof showing that Burisma Holdings had paid then-Vice President Biden $900,000 in lobbying fees. In one of the leaked conversations — which took place after Ukrainian Prosecutor General Shokin had been fired and replaced with Yuriy Lutsenko — Biden told Poroshenko: “It’s going to be critical for him [Lutsenko] to work quickly to repair the damage that Shokin did. And I’m a man of my word. And now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we’re ready to move forward to signing that new $1 billion loan guarantee.”
* Joe Biden’s Brother James Receives Unusually Generous Loans While Joe Biden Sits on the Senate Banking Committee
In 1973 Joe Biden’s younger brother James, who had served as the chief fundraiser for Joe’s Senate campaign in ’72, received a series of unusually generous loans that enabled him to raise enough capital to open a nightclub in Delaware. What made the loans so unusual was the fact that James, at that time, was a salesman with no entrepreneurial experience and a net worth of less than $10,000. Eyebrows were further raised by the fact that Joe Biden had just been appointed to the Senate Banking Committee. “No sooner was freshman lawmaker Joe Biden seated on the Senate Banking Committee,” Politico reports, “than James became the beneficiary of business loans that were described … as unusually generous because of the relatively large amount of money he was able to borrow with little or no collateral and a lack of relevant prior experience.”
The first series of loans to James Biden — totaling $165,000 — were provided by Wilmington’s Farmers Bank. When Biden’s nightclub eventually ran up debts totaling more than $500,000 by 1975, he and his business partners applied for a $300,000 bailout loan from First Pennsylvania Bank. Only after the incumbent governor of Pennsylvania made a recommendation on the nightclub’s behalf, did the bailout loan come through for Mr. Biden. The money did not last long, however. By 1977, James Biden’s debt exceeded $700,000 and he was forced to surrender the club to creditors.
“During the same time period James Biden was receiving the extensive lines of credit,” reports Breitbart.com, “Joe Biden was sitting on the Senate Banking Committee, which had purview over the financial sector. A specific jurisdiction of the committee was the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which provides bailouts to banks if they should become over leveraged. Such a bailout was required by Farmers Bank in 1976 when it nearly collapsed after all the troublesome loans [it made], like those to James Biden,… could not be repaid. The bank only survived after the FDIC and the state of Delaware threw it a lifeline by purchasing a majority of the problematic loans.”
A number of the bank’s leading executives were subsequently indicted for fraud and other financial crimes. Additional Delaware banking authorities and the elected officials who supposedly regulated them soon became embroiled in the scandal as well. “A Delaware banking commissioner was found to have received a loan from Farmers [Bank] while overseeing its finances, an apparent violation of federal law,” Politico reports. “Separately … The DOJ also scrutinized unusual loans made by Farmers, including the Biden loan.”
A few months after the height of the controversy, Joe Biden left the Senate Banking Committee in order to join the more prestigious Senate Judiciary Committee.
* Trial Lawyers Enlist James Biden’s Assistance in a Multibillion-Dollar Tobacco Case
In the 1990s, a group of Mississippi trial lawyers enlisted the help of Joe Biden’s younger brother James Biden in securing congressional support for a mega-settlement in a tobacco case. A decade later, those same Mississippi attorneys hosted a fundraiser for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. They also “accept[ed] an invitation to accompany Joe to a high-profile Washington dinner,” reports Politico, “while they simultaneously prepared to launch a lobbying firm with James and his wife, Sara.”
* Joe Biden’s Sister Steers Campaign Money to Her Political Consulting Firm
When Joe Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, was a senior partner in the political messaging firm Slade White & Company, she served as the campaign manager for her brother’s presidential campaigns. During the 2008 campaign alone, she steered $2.5 million from “Citizens for Biden” and “Biden for President Inc.” to Slade White & Company.
* James Biden’s Construction Consulting Firm Receives $1.5 Billion in Government Contracts for Projects with Which It Has No Past Experience
In 2010, the Obama administration tasked Vice President Joe Biden with the responsibility of overseeing the allocation of government contracts for construction projects aimed at rebuilding various decimated regions of post-war Iraq. In November of that year, Kevin Justice, a longtime Biden family friend who served as president of the Philadelphia-based construction consulting firm HillStone International, visited the White House to meet with Michele Smith, a top Biden aide. Less than three weeks later, HillStone announced that Joe Biden’s younger brother, James Biden, would be joining the firm as its executive vice president. Six months after that, HillStone received a $1.5 billion government contract to build more than 100,000 homes in Iraq, even though the firm had no experience whatsoever in handling projects of that magnitude. When HillStone eventually backed out of the deal because it was incapable of seeing it through, the firm nonetheless managed to secure a $22 million construction contract with the U.S. State Department in 2012.
* Frank Biden Is Linked to Solar Power Projects Receiving Millions in Taxpayer Loans from the Obama Administration, Despite Having No Experience in That Field
Shortly after President Obama took office in 2009, his administration sought to mend U.S. relations with Costa Rica following a period of acrimony that had existed during the George W. Bush years. Vice President Biden, who had longstanding ties to the Caribbean region dating back to his tenure in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was put in charge of this Costa Rica initiative. At that point, his youngest brother, Frank Biden, began looking for real-estate opportunities in that country.
In March 2009 Joe Biden visited Costa Rica. Just a few months later, Costa Rica News announced that Frank Biden had entered into a multilateral partnership “to reform Real Estate in Latin America” with a developer named Craig Williamson and a posh resort village — expected to include thousands of homes, a world-class golf course, and a number of casinos — which was slated for construction in Costa Rica. The Costa Rican government, knowing of Frank Biden’s connection to the White House, announced that it was “eager to cooperate.”
But in order to carry out the massive construction project, Costa Rica would have to update its electrical grid. Despite having no experience at all in the energy sector, Frank Biden and his company, Sun Fund Americas, entered into a partnership with the Costa Rican National Power and Light Company (CNFL) to construct a solar power complex in the northwest region of the country. The project specifically earmarked more than $6.5 million in taxpayer-backed loans that the Obama administration’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved in 2015.
The Biden family’s influence over U.S. activities in the Caribbean did not end there. In June 2014 the Obama administration announced that it was putting Joe Biden in charge of its new Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI), which would use American taxpayer dollars to support additional energy-sustainability projects in the region. One of those projects was the construction of a 20-megawatt solar power plant in Jamaica, for which OPIC had approved a $47.5 million loan. Like the aforementioned solar power project in Costa Rica, the Jamaica contract likewise went to Sun Fund Americas. All told, Frank Biden’s Caribbean projects benefited from more than $54 million in U.S. taxpayer loans during the eight years of Obama-Biden.
* Hunter Biden’s Firms Scored Big Business Deals with People & Entities Tied to the Governments of Kazakhstan, China, and Russia
There is clear evidence that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and his business partner, Devon Archer, used their involvement with the Burnham Financial Group, an asset-management corporation which they co-chaired, to make deals with foreign governments and oligarchs. One of those oligarchs was Nurlan Abduov, an associate of Kenges Rakishev, son-in-law of the former vice prime minister of Kazakhstan. Specifically, Hunter Biden regularly received funds from an account that was funded in part by a firm run by Rakishev in 2014.
Burnham Financial Group also had business dealings with two Chinese companies, Kirin Global Enterprises Limited and Harvest Global Investors, both of which were linked to the government in Beijing
In addition, Burnham had a financial relationship with the billionaire Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina, who had extensive political connections in Moscow and ties to Russian organized crime, According to Devon Archer, Baturina invested some $200 million into “various investment funds” with which Archer was involved.
Moreover, Burnham was involved in a fraudulent bond scheme that stole at least $60 million from eleven labor-union pension funds and the poorest Indian tribe in America, the Oglala Sioux. In May 2016, Archer was arrested and charged with “orchestrating a scheme to defraud investors and a Native American tribal entity of tens of millions of dollars.”
* Joe Biden Aggressively Promotes His Son-in-Law’s Startup Investment Consultancy
In June 2011, Vice President Biden aggressively promoted StartUp Health, a fledgling New York City-based investment consultancy whose mission was to provide technical and relationship advice to new companies in exchange for a stake in their business revenues. The firm was established by three siblings from Philadelphia: (a) CEO and co-founder Steven Krein, (b) chief strategy officer Bari Krein, and (c) chief medical officer Dr. Howard Krein, who also happened to be the husband of Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley.
Though StartUp Health barely had even a website in place as of June 2011, two of the company’s executives were ushered into the Oval Office of the White House that month for a face-to-face meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden. The following day, the company was featured at a large healthcare tech conference run by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Over the next four years, StartUp Health executives became regular visitors to the White House. And Joe Biden continued to personally help his son-in-law promote StartUp Health at a number of appearances which the vice president made through the end of his tenure in the White House.
On April 25, 2019, Biden announced that he planned to run for U.S. President in the 2020 election.
Below is an overview of the Biden presidential campaign’s positions on a wide array of major issues:
Workers’ Wages: Biden aims to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Reparations for Slavery: In 2019, Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield said that in Biden’s view, the U.S. should “gather the data necessary to have an informed conversation about reparations” payments to African Americans as compensation for the centuries of slavery and discrimination that afflicted black people in the United States.
Charter Schools: Biden is opposed to publicly funded, independently-run charter schools, on grounds that they “sipho[n] off money for our public schools, which are already in enough [financial] trouble.”
Universal Pre-School: Biden is in favor of making taxpayer-funded pre-school “available to every three- and four-year-old” in America. He also aims to “triple funding for Title I, the federal program funding schools with a high percentage of students from low-income families.”
Student Debt: To address the issue of student debt, Biden seeks to expand and modify the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, an existing federal benefit that cancels the remaining debt of borrowers who work in public-service jobs for ten years after they graduate.
Energy: “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” because “our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.”
Oil & Gas Drilling: Biden vows to issue no new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands or offshore areas.
Carbon Taxes: On the premise that the carbon emissions associated with human industrial activity are a major contributor to the potentially catastrophic global warming/climate change, Biden would impose carbon taxes on the businesses and industries that produce such emissions.
Abortion: Biden states that if the Supreme Court were ever to rule that abortion is unconstitutional, he would circumvent such a decision by passing a law permanently enshrining Roe v. Wade, the Court case that legalized abortion in the U.S. in 1973, as the permanent law of the land. “If they [the Supreme Court] ruled it to be unconstitutional, I will send to the United States Congress, and it will pass I believe, a bill that legislates Roe v. Wade adjusted by Casey. It’s a woman’s right to do that. Period.”
Health Care: Biden seeks to build on, and expand, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. Toward that end, Biden favors the creation of a “public option” —i.e., a government insurance agency to “compete” with private insurers. Because such an agency would not need to show a profit in order to remain in business, and because it could tax and regulate its private competitors in whatever fashion it pleased, this “public option” would soon force private insurers out of the industry.
Drug Costs: Biden wishes to link drug costs to the typically lower prices of those same medications in other countries around the world. He would establish an independent board within the Department of Health & Human Services to set prices in this manner. Moreover, Biden would try to limit drug prices through a tax penalty on manufacturers that raise their prices above the general inflation rate in Medicare and his public option plan.
Immigration & Citizenship: Biden is in favor of granting citizenship to so-called “Dreamers” (illegal aliens who first came to the U.S. as minors), and to illegals affected by President Obama‘s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The latter was an executive action that allowed hundreds of thousands of illegals to gain temporary legal status, work permits, access to certain publicly funded social services, and protection from deportation.
Infrastructure Spending: Biden calls for a $1.3 trillion investment in infrastructure and transportation (roads, bridges, etc.) over a ten-year period. He would pay for this by rolling back some of the 2017 GOP tax cuts, increasing taxes on the “super-wealthy and corporations,” and ending fossil fuel subsidies.
Capital Gains Taxes: Biden is in favor of taxing the capital gains of people with more than $1 million in income at the same (higher) rate as ordinary income.
Corporate Income Taxes: Biden aims to raise the U.S. corporate income tax rate to 28 percent, and to impose a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations with at least $100 million in net profits.
Personal Income Taxes: Biden seeks to raise the top income tax rate for high earners to 39.6 percent. He would also put a 28 percent cap on the value of tax breaks for wealthy taxpayers.
Criminal Justice, Racism, & Alternatives to Incarceration: Lamenting that “too many people are incarcerated in the United States – and too many of them are black and brown,” the Biden campaign stated that “our criminal justice system cannot be just unless we root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system.” Toward that end, Biden proposed to “create a new $20 billion competitive grant program to spur states to shift from incarceration to prevention.” This money would be given to help states, counties, and cities initiate “efforts to address some of the factors like illiteracy and child abuse that are correlated with incarceration.” The overall objective would be to “get people who should be supported with social services – instead of in our prisons – connected to the help they need.”
Death Penalty: Biden calls for the abolition of capital punishment, on grounds that it is applied unfairly and it runs the risk of taking the lives of innocent people.
Cash Bail: Biden wishes to end the cash bail system because it “disproportionately affects low-income Americans — those who can’t afford to post bond.” Instead, he favors a system that would release all defendants prior to their trial, except those charged with the most serious, violent crimes. Said the Biden campaign: “Cash bail is the modern-day debtors’ prison. The cash bail system incarcerates people who are presumed innocent. And, it disproportionately harms low-income individuals. Biden will lead a national effort to end cash bail and reform our pretrial system by putting in place, instead, a system that is fair and does not inject further discrimination or bias into the process.”
Drug Crimes: Biden would “end all incarceration for drug use alone and instead divert individuals to drug courts and treatment.”
Cocaine Sentencing Disparities: Biden calls for the termination of all sentencing disparities for crimes involving crack or powder cocaine. For a detailed explanation of this, see Footnote #1, below.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Biden would end mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses — sentences which were significantly expanded at the federal level in 1986.
Decriminalizing Marijuana: Biden favors the decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level, and the automatic expungement of all past convictions for marijuana possession.
Police Misconduct: Biden would expand the power of the U.S. Justice Department “to address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices.”
Housing Assistance for Ex-Convicts: Citing “a national goal of ensuring 100% of formerly incarcerated individuals have housing upon reentry” into society, Biden pledged that he would direct the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to “only contract with entities that are open to housing individuals looking for a second chance.”
A few days after the launch of Biden’s presidential campaign, National Review wrote: “Biden insists that he’s been ‘referred to for the last 35 years in Washington as Middle-Class Joe,’ despite no record of anyone else ever calling him that.” Added National Review: “[Biden] proclaimed that he didn’t ‘own a single stock or bond . . . I have no savings accounts.’ His wife Jill had plenty of stock and bond investments and the couple had five savings accounts in both their names.”
In an August 2019 campaign appearance in New Hampshire, Biden told a poignant story of a four-star general who allegedly had asked him, when he was vice-president, to travel to Kunar province in Afghanistan in order to award a Silver Star to a Navy captain who had rappelled down a 60-foot ravine under fire to retrieve the body of a slain American soldier. In his story, Biden said that when he was warned in advance about how dangerous such a trip would be, he replied, “We can lose a vice president. We can’t lose many more of these kids. Not a joke.” Biden then claimed that when he subsequently attempted to pin the medal on the Navy captain, the latter — distraught that he had not been able to save the aforementioned soldier’s life — told Biden: “Sir, I don’t want the damn thing! Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!” “This is the God’s truth,” Biden concluded. “My word as a Biden.”
Noting that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect,” The Washington Post — after interviewing more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders, and Biden campaign officials in an effort to verify the details of the story — explained how Biden had conflated different events in order to create his fictitious tale. Said the Post:
“Biden visited Kunar province in 2008 as a U.S. senator, not as vice president. The service member who performed the celebrated rescue that Biden described was a 20-year-old Army specialist, not a much older Navy captain. And that soldier, Kyle J. White, never had a Silver Star, or any other medal, pinned on him by Biden. At a White House ceremony six years after Biden’s visit, White stood at attention as President Barack Obama placed a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, around his neck. The upshot: In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony.”
National Review cited a pair of additional fabricated stories which Biden had previously told regarding his interaction with the alleged Silver Star recipient:
“Biden also employed the story of the fictitious Navy captain during a World War II memorial event in Australia in 2016. In that telling, the captain ‘climbed down about 200 feet’ into a ravine in Afghanistan to rescue a comrade. Then, while stumping for Hillary Clinton that same year, Biden told the story of an Army captain who pulled a soldier out of a burning vehicle in Iraq but resisted the resulting medal. ‘He died. He died, Mr. Vice President,’ Biden recalled the officer saying. ‘I don’t want the medal.’”
In a February 24, 2020 campaign appearance in South Carolina, Biden mistakenly described himself as a candidate for a Senate seat rather than for the presidency: “[Y]ou’re the ones who sent Barck Obama to the presidency, and I have a simple proposition here. I’m here to ask you for your help…. My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. Look me over, if you like what you see, help out. If not, vote for the other Biden. Give me a look, though. okay?”
On February 24, 2020, Biden, while citing his accomplishments in President Barack Obama’s administration, mistakenly claimed that he had worked on the 2016 Paris Climate Accord with former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping — who left office in 1992 and died in 1997. “One of the things I’m proudest of is getting passed, getting moved, getting in control of the Paris Climate Accord,” said Biden. “I’m the guy who came back after meeting with Deng Xiaoping and making the case that I believe China will join if we put pressure on them. We got almost 200 nations to join.” It was President Xi Jinping who signed China onto the 2016 agreement.
During a February 28, 2020 stump speech in Sumter, South Carolina, Biden pledged to “appoint” the first black woman to the “Senate,” where members are elected rather than appointed, and where two black women (Carol Moseley Braun and Kamala Harris) had already served. Biden likely meant to say “Supreme Court” rather than “Senate.”
In February 2020, Biden suddenly began claiming that he had been arrested many years earlier in Soweto, a city in northeast South Africa, while on his way (with a congressional delegation) to visit then-anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. “This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid,” Biden said during a campaign stop in South Carolina. “I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador [Andrew Young] on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robbens Island.” Later that same week in February 2020, Biden mentioned the arrest two more times, claiming that he had been arrested in between attempts to persuade Jill Stevenson, the woman who would become his second wife, to agree to marry him. That meant the arrest would have occurred in 1977, the year in which both the marriage proposal and the wedding took place.
Biden ended his story by claiming that Mandela himself had subsequently thanked him for getting arrested while trying to visit the South African activist. “After he got free and became president [in 1994], he came to Washington and came to my office,” Biden said in Las Vegas. “He threw his arms around me and said, ‘I want to say thank you.’ I said, ‘What are you thanking me for, Mr. President?’ He said, ‘You tried to see me. You got arrested trying to see me.’”
But Biden’s story was dubious, as The New York Times reported: “[I]f Mr. Biden, then a United States senator from Delaware, was in fact arrested while trying to visit Mr. Mandela, he did not mention it in his 2007 memoir when writing about a 1970s trip to South Africa, and he has not spoken of it prominently on the 2020 campaign trail. A check of available news accounts by The New York Times turned up no references to an arrest. South African arrest records are not readily available in the United States.”
Casting additional doubt on Biden’s story is the fact that during the time period in question, Mandela was being held in a prison on Robben Island, near the southwest part of South Africa, some 900 miles away from Soweto. Biden’s campaign did not respond to five separate attempts by the Times to have the campaign clarify the events in question.
Andrew Young, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1977-79, said he had traveled to South Africa with Biden but had never been arrested. Young was skeptical, moreover, of the notion that any members of the U.S. Congress would have been at risk of arrest in South Africa at that time. “No, I was never arrested and I don’t think he was, either,” Young told the Times. “Now, people were being arrested in Washington. I don’t think there was ever a situation where congressmen were arrested in South Africa.”
On February 25, 2020, Biden’s presidential campaign backed away from the candidate’s claim that he had been arrested while attempting to visit Nelson Mandela in the 1970s. Said Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield: “He was separated from his party at the airport. They, he was not allowed to go through the same door that the — the rest of the party he was with. Obviously, it was apartheid South Africa. There was a white door, there was a black door. He did not want to go through the white door and have the rest of the party go through the black door. He was separated. This was during a trip while they were there in Johannesburg. When making that remark, he was talking about his long record fighting apartheid; he was one of the leading voices in the United States Senate in the ’80s.”
“When I said arrested, I meant I was not able to, I was not able to move. Cops, Afrikaaners, were not letting me go with them, made me stay where I was. I guess I wasn’t arrested, I was stopped. I was not able to move where I wanted to go. They had me get off a plane — the Afrikaaners got on in the short pants and their guns. Led me off first and moved me in a direction totally different. I turned around and everybody, the entire black delegation, was going another way. I said, ‘I’m not going to go in that door that says ‘White only.’ I’m going with them.’ They said, ‘You’re not, you can’t move, you can’t go with them.’ And they kept me there until finally I decided that it was clear I wasn’t going to move. And so what they finally did, they said OK, they’re not going to make the congressional delegation go through the black door, they’re not going to make me go through the white door.”
During a March 2, 2020 campaign rally — one day before the so-called “Super Tuesday” presidential primaries in 14 separate states — Biden tried to recite the Declaration of Independence but bungled the words badly, saying: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men and women created by — go, you know the, you know the thing.” The Declaration of Independence actually reads as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Biden also mistakenly referred to Super Tuesday as “Super Thursday” before correcting himself.
In a March 27, 2020 podcast interview with Katie Halper, a woman named Tara Reade, who had worked in Biden’s office in 1993, accused Biden of having inappropriately touched her, kissed her, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers, without consent. “We were alone, and it was the strangest thing, ” Reade said. “There was no, like, exchange really, he just had me up against the wall. His hands were on me and underneath my clothes. And then, he went, he went down my skirt and then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers…and um…He was kissing me at the same time and he was saying something to me. He got finished doing what he was doing and I, how I was pulled back and he said, ‘Come on man, I heard you liked me.’ And that phrase stayed with me because I kept thinking what I might have said. And I can’t remember exactly if he said ‘I thought’ or if ‘I heard.’ It’s like he implied that I had done this.”
Reade told Halper that she had told her mother, her brother, and a friend about the assault. The mother, who had since died, told her to report the incident, while the brother and the friend advised her to keep quiet about it, so as to avoid a media firestorm.
In April 2020, two additional women — former neighbor Lynda LaCasse and former co-worker Lorraine Sanchez — also came forward to verify the fact that Reade told them about the Biden incident in the 1990s. LaCasse described herself as “a very strong Democrat” who would vote “for Biden, regardless” of what he had done to Reade.
Biden denied Ms. Reade’s claims. Notably, following Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual misconduct against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, Biden had said: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time.”
In comparison to its handling of the Kavanaugh-Ford affair, the news media gave Biden-Reade very little attention. The Washington Post was typical of this double standard:
Near the end of a May 2020 interview on The Breakfast Club, a radio program popular with black listeners and hosted by a man calling himself Charlamagne tha God, the host told Biden that he would like to ask him some additional questions before the November election. In response, Biden said: “I tell you, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
While a number of U.S. cities were still being overrun for by violent riots that began in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd — a black Minneapolis man who had died after apparent abuse by a white police officer — Biden visited the site of a recent riot in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware. In a tweet acknowledging the visit, Biden wrote: “We are a nation in pain right now, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. As President, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen, just as I did today visiting the site of last night’s protests in Wilmington.”
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