Biden did answer questions from House Democrats at virtual event
CLAIM: The White House cut President Joe Biden’s feed at a virtual event with top House Democrats because they did not have confidence in him answering questions.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Biden did take questions after his introductory remarks at the House Democratic Caucus Virtual Issues Conference on Wednesday but the event was closed to the press after the initial comments, so the video feed was cut.
THE FACTS: Posts online are suggesting that the video proves that the White House is limiting the president’s talking time.
The 15-second clip was taken from comments Biden made praising Democratic leaders for their support and addressed the need to tackle issues related to racial injustice, confidence in the American government and the climate. During the conference, Biden praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Conservative accounts shared the clip of Biden with captions meant to further propel a false narrative pushed during the election that he is unfit for office.
“The White House doesn’t even have enough confidence in Joe Biden to answer questions? Wow,” Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative student group, tweeted.
“BIDEN APPEARS TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN A PUPPET PRESIDENT,” another post said.
In the clip, viewed more than 1.6 million times on Twitter, Biden says he would be happy to take questions.
“And I’m happy to take questions if that’s what you — I’m supposed to do, Nance,” he says before the feed ends. “Whatever you want me to do.”
The video feed of Biden then ends.
But comments circulating with the clip misrepresent what was behind the cut. On Wednesday, pool reporters were allowed to attend the introductory remarks made by Biden, but the session was then closed to the press for the president to take questions from House Democrats.
The AP confirmed that Biden did take questions from House Democrats including one on systemic racism and another on the child tax credit.
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