President Joe Biden said on Monday that he was at the World Trade Center site in New York City the day after the 9/11 attacks, but his autobiography puts him in Washington, D.C.
The 80-year-old president claimed he also saw the fireball caused by the plane that struck the Pentagon in northern Virginia from Washington’s Union Station. His own book states he only saw “a brown haze of smoke.”
“Ground Zero in New York — I remember standing there the next day and looking at the building. And I felt like I was looking through the gates of hell,” Biden told U.S. troops in Anchorage, Alaska, on the terrorist attacks’ 22nd anniversary.
“It looked so devastating because the way you could, from where you could stand. Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the Pentagon in Virginia — I spent many 9/11s in those hollow grounds to bear witness and remember those we lost,” he continued.
Moments later, the president claimed he saw the aftermath immediately following the American Airlines Flight 77 strike at the Pentagon.
“The plume of fire that shot up in the sky in Pentagon [sic] — I remember seeing as I got off Amtrak train on my way to work in the United States Senate,” mused Biden.
President Biden’s 2007 autobiography “Promises to Keep” gives a contradictory account of his actions on 9/11 and the following day.
Biden wrote he arrived in Washington the morning of September 11, 2001, after American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon and “I could see a brown haze of smoke hanging in the otherwise crystal-clear sky beyond the Capitol dome.”
Biden wrote in the book, “I headed back to the Capitol the next morning, September 12, 2001.
The book doesn’t describe any trip to Ground Zero after the attacks while search and rescue work was ongoing — despite describing Biden speaking to students at the University of Delaware on September 19, 2001, and vising a Newark, New Jersey, mosque two days later.
A report from Gannett News Wire from September 12, 2001, began, “Delaware Senator Joe Biden spent Wednesday exactly where he wanted — in the U.S. Senate.”
Then-President George W. Bush visited the former site of the Twin Towers two days later, where he spoke to workers through a bullhorn and said famously, “I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”
Biden is notorious for his decades-long habit of factual embellishments. Still, his most recent biographical misstatements come as polls show that most voters believe he is too old to seek a second term in the 2024 presidential election.
Last month, the president claimed after Hawaii’s wildfire devastation that his Delaware house “almost collapsed” from a small kitchen fire almost two decades ago — following telling survivors one week prior that firefighters “ran into flames” to rescue the first lady, Jill Biden.
During a fire prevention summit in October of last year, he claimed, “We almost lost a couple of firefighters” during the fire — prompting the local fire department to release a statement calling the blaze “insignificant.”
President Biden told students in Atlanta at historically black colleges last year that he was arrested several times while protesting in favor of civil rights — a claim there is no evidence for.
In 2021, Biden told Jewish leaders he remembered “spending time at” and “going to” Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in 2018 following the most significant anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, during which 11 people were murdered. The synagogue said Biden never visited, and later, the White House said he was thinking about a 2019 phone call to the rabbi of the synagogue.
Later that month, he told an audience in Idaho his “first job offer” came from a local wood products and lumber business, Boise Cascade. The company said that was news to them.
At a May 2022 Naval Academy graduation ceremony and again this past June at the Air Force Academy, he claimed that the late Senator J. Caleb Boggs appointed him to the prestigious Annapolis military college. A search of Boggs’ archives turned up no evidence of the appointment.
Latest exaggeration comes as polls show president’s perceived mental acuity is a liability
The latest exaggeration comes as polls show the president’s perceived mental infirmity is a liability in the upcoming election.
A June Washington Post-ABC News poll found that only 32% of voters believe Biden has the mental sharpness needed to serve as president — while 54% said the same of Donald Trump, 77, the front-runner for the GOP nomination.
A poll released by the Wall Street Journal last week found 73% of registered voters believed Biden was too old, while 47% said the same of Trump.
In addition to scrutiny of his mental acuity, President Biden also has an extensive record of false biographical claims and gaffes.
His first presidential campaign ended infamously in 1987 because of a scandal involving plagiarism of a law school paper and speeches.
President Biden appropriated British politician Neil Kinnock’s family history, changing geographic details to claim in speeches that “my ancestors…worked in the coal mines of Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours.”
Unlike the forebears of Kinnock, who were Welsh, Biden’s ancestors didn’t mine coal.
He also falsely claimed he “graduated with three degrees from college,” “went to law school on a full academic scholarship — the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,” was named “the outstanding student in the political science department,” and “ended up in the top half” of his class.
None of the claims were true.
An official at the White House told The Post that the president was thinking about visiting Ground Zero on September 20, 2001, as part of a 38-senator delegation nine days following the attack.