Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden faces controversy yet again after telling a moving war story about a visit to Afghanistan at a campaign event on Friday that was found to have actually “never happened.”
The Washington Post, seeking to confirm Biden’s story, spoke to multiple military and campaign sources and found that he "jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened."
Biden told the story during a campaign event in New Hampshire, reportedly swearing by it as the “God’s truth."
NBC News reports,
He told the crowd about a Navy captain in Afghanistan who climbed down a ravine under fire to rescue a fellow service member who had been shot, later attempting to refuse a medal from the vice president because the man had died.
The Washington Post report — based on interviews with more than a dozen troops, commanders, and Biden campaign officials — traced the details of Biden’s recounting to three different tales of bravery. While Biden had awarded a medal to a brave soldier, it wasn’t the medal he said it was, the soldier didn’t do what Biden recounted, and the incident didn't occur where Biden said it had.
The soldier who performed the ravine rescue was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama — Biden did not present him with a medal. Another story involved a soldier who braved Taliban fire to rescue a wounded soldier. He was given a Bronze Star by a general while Biden, a senator from Delaware at the time, looked on. The third story, according to the Post, involved a soldier who ran into a burning vehicle in an attempt to save a burning friend. He attempted to refuse, but was ultimately awarded a Bronze Star by the vice president. Over the years, the Post reported, Biden has mixed the details of these three stories, and his recounting has become more harrowing and less accurate.
Biden dismissed The Post's report, saying that the "central point" of his tale was "absolutely accurate."
"I don't understand what they're talking about, but the central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said," Biden said in an interview with the Post & Courier.
"I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we’ve lost,” he said on the Washington Post's Cape Up podcast. "I don’t know what the problem is. I mean, what is it that I said wrong?"
His gaffes continue to raise concerns about Biden’s mental acuity and overall electability.
Recent polling by Monmouth University shows that support for the former Vice President has dropped significantly, though that polling has since been renounced as an “outlier” among national polls after pushback and condemnation by the Biden campaign.