“After four years of a presidency that swamped Americans with a gusher of false and misleading claims, the Joe Biden era has offered a return to a more typical pattern when it comes to a commander in chief and his relationship with the facts — one that features frequent spin and obfuscation or exaggeration, with the occasional canard,” the Post’s fact-checking team began its report on Monday.
According to the report, Biden has made “67 false or misleading statements” in all the speeches, interviews, tweets, and public statements he has made as president. That, however, pales in comparison to former President Trump, who, according to the Post, made 511 falsehoods in his first 100 days in office.
The Post tallied four “Four Pinocchios” ratings from the president, three of them were false claims he repeated about Georgia’s election reform bill. The other was an inaccurate knock at the Trump administration claiming that “federal government contracts awarded directly to foreign companies went up 30 percent,” which actually averaged between 8.4-11 percent under the previous president.
The claim deemed by the Post as perhaps the “strangest” of Biden’s, which he made twice, was that he “traveled 17,000 miles” with Chinese President Xi Jinping when they were both vice presidents.
“Biden certainly met with him a lot — but the White House conceded that ‘traveled with’ was not accurate,” the Post wrote about the “Three Pinocchios” claim. “Moreover, no matter how generously the travel was measured, it never added up to 17,000 miles. How Biden made this calculation — which he also said at least once during the campaign — remains a mystery.”
The Post’s star fact-checker Glenn Kessler indicated on Twitter that he would not be continuing a database of Biden’s falsehoods since he “learned his lesson” from the Trump presidency.
“‘Learned my lesson’ means that who knows what the next four years will bring. We have fact-checked Biden rigorously and will continue to do so. Trump at 500 claims/100 days was manageable; 8,000+ was not,” Kessler explained.
The fact-checker team at the Washington Post has been under fire in recent days over its “fact-check” of Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., that dug into his ancestry to get to the bottom of whether or not his family truly went “from cotton to Congress” in one generation.
The Post reported that there was “more to that tale,” which was that the cotton fields his grandfather worked on as a child were family-owned. But since Scott’s claims were still completely factual, they were not given a “Pinocchios” rating.
Critics slammed the “fact-check” as a hit piece, which was published roughly 12 hours after it was announced that Scott would be giving the GOP response to Biden’s address to Congress. The Post maintains the timing of its report was coincidental.