WaPo Fact Checker Gives Biden 'Three Pinocchios' for Bin Laden Claims

Joe Biden
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January 8, 2020

The Washington Post's fact checker gave former vice president Joe Biden a "Three Pinocchios" rating for his claim that he didn't oppose the raid that killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

The Post's fact checker concludes that Biden's story about the bin Laden raid "has evolved over time." He says that personal testimony—both Biden's own and that of eyewitnesses in the room—maintains Biden opposed going after bin Laden at the time.

The rating was prompted by Biden's interview on Friday with Fox News's Peter Doocy, who asked the former vice president, "Didn't you tell President Obama 'don't go' after bin Laden that day?"

"No, I didn't. I didn't," Biden said.

Biden has said the opposite in the past. At a retreat for House Democrats seven months after Osama bin Laden's killing, Biden said he told the president in the Situation Room, "Mr. President, my suggestion is, don't go." This moment has been described similarly in books by former Obama senior officials, who stressed Biden's skepticism and desire for more information before making a final decision.

In subsequent interviews, however, Biden has added that he had a private conversation with Obama immediately following the meeting in the Situation Room, in which he urged the president, "Follow your instincts."