On Monday’s anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, President Joe Biden sparked controversy by stating he was present at Ground Zero the day after the Twin Towers fell.
Eagled-eyed politics watchers quickly realized this claim contradicted his own 2007 memoir, “Promises to Keep,” which places him in Washington D.C. at the time.
Joe Biden: The Lies and Blunders Keep Coming
The blunder came mere hours after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre abruptly cut short a press conference with President Biden in Hanoi, Vietnam on Sunday, as he was still fielding questions from reporters in the room.
Minutes before the press secretary’s unexpected move, President Biden delivered an extended response that included a somewhat meandering explanation of why he uses the phrase “lying dog-faced pony soldier” to describe politicians who deny climate change.
Ground Zero Claim
Addressing a group of US troops in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday’s solemn occasion, President Biden, 80, made the following statement: “I join you on this solemn day to renew our sacred vow: never forget. Never forget. We never forget. 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.”
This declaration diverges from the account he provided in his memoir, where he documented his actions as a senator for Delaware on September 11, 2001. In his book, Biden recalled arriving in Washington by train from his Delaware home on the morning of September 11 and witnessing the aftermath of a plane striking the Pentagon.
He wrote, “I could see a brown haze of smoke hanging in the otherwise crystal-clear sky beyond the Capitol dome.” He added, “I headed back to the Capitol the next morning,” firmly placing him in Washington on the day following the attacks.
Evidence He Was in DC- Not NYC
Moreover, archive footage from September 12, 2001, shows that Joe Biden was, in fact, in Washington, D.C., on that date, as it shows him delivering a speech in the Senate chamber.
In response to questions regarding the President’s remarks, the White House provided a photograph and accompanying news article that showed Biden touring Ground Zero on September 20, 2001. A White House official later confirmed, “The president first visited the World Trade Center nine days after the September 11 terrorist attacks.”
Not a Good Look For Joe Biden
Biden’s address in Anchorage, Alaska, came as part of his return from a trip to India and Vietnam. Notably, this marked a rare instance of a US president not commemorating the worst terrorist attack on American soil at a memorial site.
The accuracy of Biden’s statement remains unclear, with some speculating that it could be an embellishment or a simple misremembering of the date. However, it adds to a history of the President occasionally exaggerating while sharing anecdotes.
As President Biden continues to seek re-election, his age has become a growing concern for a majority of voters, according to recent polling.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.