President Joe Biden has a history of telling false, exaggerated stories, and rising to the nation’s highest office hasn’t changed him into the virtuous public servant he pretends to be.
Biden raised some eyebrows on Thursday when he said he was “shot at,” bringing back an old lie that got him in trouble back in 2007, the Washington Examiner reported.
“You have great personal courage. I’ve been with some of you when we’ve been shot at,” Biden reportedly told State Department employees.
Biden revives the tall tale
The comment is similar to one that Biden retracted under pressure in 2007, when he was accused of stolen valor for saying at a presidential debate that he had been shot at in Baghdad’s Green Zone. A fuller version of the story was not as cinematic as Biden initially suggested.
“Veterans don’t like it when people mischaracterize their service, people who overstate what happens to them,” Patrick Campbell, legislative director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said at the time, according to The Hill. “We have names for them.”
Biden later told The Hill that he was “near where a shot landed” and that a mortar had rattled a building where he was inside shaving. “No one got up and ran from the room — it wasn’t that kind of thing,” he said. “It’s not like I had someone holding a gun to my head.”
His story got more complicated when his aides mentioned two other incidents in which aircraft Biden was traveling in might have been fired upon.
Old habits die hard
Biden has told many such bizarre, colorful lies over the years, often describing perilous situations in foreign lands. When he claimed in 2008 that his helicopter was “forced down” in Afghanistan on the “superhighway of terror,” then-Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) clarified that it was because of snow, not jihadists.
Biden’s active imagination has often forced his staff to clarify his stories. On the campaign trail, Biden claimed to have been arrested while trying to see Nelson Mandela and told a completely invented narrative about flying to Afghanistan to award a medal to a soldier, reports noted.
While Biden’s political career is full of such tall tales, he has told more prosaic lies as well. Since taking office, he has broken his promise of sending out $2,000 stimulus checks “immediately,” now claiming that the $2,000 includes $600 that went out under former President Donald Trump.
Old habits die hard, as they say. Of course, Biden is hardly the only politician to make up dramatic stories for political effect. Failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton infamously took flak for a false account of landing in Bosnia under sniper fire in 1996. The video shows Clinton calmly walking on the tarmac.
“So I made a mistake. That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation,” she said, according to The Washington Times.