Former Vice President Joe Biden kicked off his “No Malarkey” tour of Iowa over the weekend by lying about having “spent a lot of time” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Biden, who has been known to embellish portions of his personal and political life on the campaign trail, flubbed the nature of his relationship withthe North Korean strongman on Sunday at a town hall in Carroll, Iowa. The event, part of Biden’s highly publicized 18-county “No Malarkey” bus tour of Iowa, was supposed to showcase the former vice president’s candor and authenticity as he tries to mount a comeback in the first caucus state—much like John McCain’s ‘Straight Talk Express’ did in New Hampshire during the 2008 election.
As such, Biden opened up with the audience in Carroll about the draining toll of the presidency and the importance of Democrats nominating a candidate in 2020 who would not need on the job training.
The 77-year-old Biden told those assembled, “You’re going to have assume that position the moment they are sworn in, in January 2020, and know the rest of the world knows that person, in this case me, and that I know them,”
Biden went on to say Russian President:
Putin has no illusions about whether I know him or not, Kim Jong Un has no person that I don’t know or not, the same with the president of China, Xi Jinping, I spent a lot of time with these folks. They know, they know.
Despite touting his readiness and familiarity with the foreign heads of state, Biden, in fact, had never met all those leaders he invoked in Iowa. Although the former vice president interacted with both Putin and Xi Jinping on numerous occasions throughout the Obama administration, his claims to have spent time with Kim Jong-un have no basis. A review of Biden’s public schedules from the Obama-era White House indicate no meeting between the two men ever took place.
Biden’s inaccurate comments about having “spent a lot of time” with the North Korean leader elicited rebuke from members of the Trump campaign on social media.
Joe Biden is saying he spent a lot of time with Kim Jong Un despite never meeting him. What’s going on with Joe? pic.twitter.com/mwl7kgGLXf
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) December 1, 2019
Joe Biden claims has has "spent a lot of time" with Kim Jong Un.
That is FALSE Biden and Kim Jong Un have never met. pic.twitter.com/evCJLqEdAz
— Francis Brennan (@FrancisBrennan) December 1, 2019
Some also noted the irony that Biden started off his “No Malarky” tour by lying to voters about his dealings with Kim Jong-un.
This is not the first time the former vice president has embellished his foreign policy experiences on the campaign trail. Most notably, Biden came under fire for fabricating a heart-wrenching story about the Afghanistan War in August. The controversy stemmed from a story Biden told to more than 400 New Hampshire voters in which he was asked as vice president to travel to Afghanistan to honor a Navy captain who risked his life saving a downed comrade.
According to Biden’s recollection, the captain “rappelled down a 60-foot ravine under fire and retrieved the body of an American comrade, carrying him on his back.” When his superiors sought to honor him with a “Silver Star,” the captain refused, as his comrade had died during the mission. Inserting himself into the story, Biden claimed to have tried to pin a medal on the captain while in Afghanistan, only to have the soldier break down emotionally.
When Biden first told the story, everyone in the audience was left “silent” by the raw emotion the former vice president exhibited. Unfortunately for the former vice president, however, the Washington Post exposed that “almost every detail in the story” was “incorrect” upon closer investigation.
Biden visited Kunar province in 2008 as a U.S. senator, not as vice president. The service member who performed the celebrated rescue that Biden described was a 20-year-old Army specialist, not a much older Navy captain. And that soldier, Kyle J. White, never had a Silver Star, or any other medal, pinned on him by Biden. At a White House ceremony six years after Biden’s visit, White stood at attention as President Barack Obama placed a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, around his neck.
The paper concluded that Biden had conflated three separate stories, including one in which he actually “did pin a medal on a heartbroken soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman, who didn’t believe he deserved the award.”
Biden, himself, dismissed such criticism by claiming “the details are irrelevant,” and the central premise of the story was accurate.