President Joe Biden has always had a tendency during his political career to over-embellish or even blatantly lie about relatively minor details and facts in the anecdotal stories he likes to share with others.
That was evidenced again on Thursday while Biden spoke with a group of Jewish rabbis, as he falsely claimed to have visited the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the site of a terrible anti-Semitic mass shooting in 2018 that left 11 people dead, The Daily Wire reported.
Biden’s untrue assertion was quickly challenged on social media and disputed as untrue by the synagogue’s top official, and was eventually corrected and clarified by the president’s White House team.
Biden’s false claim
In a teleconference call Thursday with several rabbis to celebrate the upcoming Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, President Biden spoke for a few moments about anti-Semitism and hate crimes ahead of his reference to the mass shooting at the synagogue nearly three years ago.
“I remember spending time at the — you know, going to the — you know, the Tree of Life Synagogue, speaking with the — just — it just is amazing these things are happening — happening in America,” Biden said.
Except, the New York Post reported that, according to Barb Feige, executive director of the Tree of Life Synagogue, “No,” Biden had never actually visited that facility.
Here’s Joe Biden talking about visiting Tree of Life synagogue after the massacre there. The executive director of the synagogue says Biden is lying — he never visited. Totally normal. pic.twitter.com/GcFjU2u50i
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) September 2, 2021
“Joe Biden flat out lied”
The obvious and easily disproven falsehood was treated as little more than an odd “discrepancy” by some in the media — if even covered at all — but that didn’t sit well with the Republican Jewish Coalition, which accused Biden of having “flat out lied” about the alleged visit to the synagogue.
Discrepancy? You mean Joe Biden flat out lied about visiting Tree of Life synagogue.
The ultimate irony: the person who actually did visit in 2018 with members of the Jewish community? His predecessor. https://t.co/C4pbTuqR19
— RJC (@RJC) September 2, 2021
Indeed, while Biden had never visited the Tree of Life, then-President Donald Trump, along with a few Jewish advisers and Cabinet members, had paid his respects to those lost at the synagogue just a few days after the horrible attack had occurred, according to the Post.
White House clarification
The New York Post reported separately that, after nearly 24 hours of silence and a refusal to address media questions about Biden’s faulty and disputed claim, the White House eventually clarified that, rather than actually visit the synagogue, Biden instead “was referring to a call he had with the Tree of Life rabbi in 2019.”
The White House even included a statement from the rabbi confirming as much and to prove there was no ill will, which is fine but doesn’t change the fact that Biden either lied or simply can’t remember anymore or distinguish where he has and hasn’t been — neither of which is acceptable for the president of the United States.