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Biden was answering questions from a television monitor, not using teleprompter

September 23, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Joe Biden “caught red-handed” using a teleprompter during an interview.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was answering questions from a monitor, not using a teleprompter, during a recent interview on Telemundo, a Spanish-language television network. @TelemundoNews confirmed on Twitter that Biden did not use the teleprompter: “Recent social media posts claiming @JoeBiden used a teleprompter during an interview with Noticias Telemundo and anchor @jdbalart are absolutely FALSE.”

THE FACTS: This week, false claims circulated on social media featuring a brief segment from the Telemundo interview. The video clip shows Biden looking to his left while answering a question. The reporter then says, “let me get that right, you are going to freeze deportations?” Biden looks back toward him and confirms his answer, later stating, “OK. I lost that line.”

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On Monday, a Twitter user shared a photo of the interview with the caption: “Biden just did an interview with Telemundo where he was asked questions, turned to the left and read the answers off a teleprompter.” The post had more than 2,500 retweets.

Eric Trump, President Donald Trump’s son, tweeted the 26-second clip on Wednesday. “Unreal,” he wrote. Text over the video reads: “Biden caught red-handed using a teleprompter.” The post had more than 16,000 retweets.

The false claim was also spreading on Facebook and Instagram.

During the interview, several Telemundo viewers delivered questions to Biden through a monitor.

A review of the interview shows that Biden was answering a question about the Obama administration’s record on mass deportation that was asked from the monitor. An image of a woman appears on the screen. “How can you guarantee this will not continue happening in our communities,” she asks. While answering the question, Biden faces the monitor. “It took much too long to get it right,” Biden remarks. “There are going to be no deportations in the first 100 days of my campaign.”

Telemundo reporter Jose Diaz-Balart then steps in to confirm the statement, “Let me get that right. You are going to freeze deportations?”

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“Freeze deportations for the first 100 days,” Biden clarifies. “And the only people who will be deported are people who committed a felony while here, that’s number one.”

“Ok I lost that line,” Biden says, looking toward the monitor. “That’s good. We could talk, you and I on that,” Diaz-Balart responds.

The full interview was published to YouTube on Sept. 15.

A spokesperson with the Biden campaign also confirmed that Biden was looking at the monitor because he was answering the question.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.


Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536