Fact Check: Joe Biden Repeats the Charlottesville ‘Very Fine People Hoax’; Lester Holt Does Not Correct

Joe Biden and Lester Holt (Roberto Schmidt / Getty)
Roberto Schmidt / Getty

CLAIM: For the umpteenth time, Joe Biden claimed that President Donald Trump called neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, “very fine people.”

VERDICT: FALSE. This is Biden’s most infamous lie, and NBC’s Lester Holt failed to correct it.

Biden spun the “Charlottesville very fine people hoax” again on Monday night at an NBC town hall:

Again, I give you my word, after my son passed, I wasn’t going to run again. But when I saw those people coming out of the woods, literally, the fields, carrying torches in Charlottesville screeching at — if you close your eyes, remember what you saw. Their veins bulging, preaching antisemitic hate. The same exact language used in Germany in the thirties, accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. And when a woman was innocently killed, what was the question asked of the president? “What do you think?” He said there were “very fine people on both sides.” No president has ever said anything remotely like that. There’s this constant dog whistle.

This is Biden’s script on Charlottesville, which he has memorized, and which he never changes, even when challenged:

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

As Breitbart News has demonstrated ad nauseum, Biden is lying:

President Trump repeatedly condemned the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville in August 2017 — “totally.”

As to “very fine people,” Trump had been referring to peaceful protests both for and against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

He completely condemned the extremists — as the timeline and transcript confirm:

  • Aug. 12, 2017: Trump condemned “violence “on many sides” in Charlottesville, after neo-Nazi and Antifa clashes
  • Aug. 14, 2017: Trump condemned “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups” in White House statement
  • Aug. 15, 2017: Trump condemned neo-Nazis “totally,” praised non-violent protesters “on both sides” of statue debate

Biden launched his campaign with the Charlottesville hoax, and persisted in doing so, even after Breitbart News confronted him last August with the fact that he was misquoting the president.

It is worth noting that Trump in fact condemned the murder of the young woman in Charlottesville as “terrorism.” Her named was Heather Heyer — which Biden never remembers, somehow.

Holt should have known that Biden was lying, but members of the mainstream media apparently cannot bring themselves to correct Biden’s egregious and thoroughly debunked lie to his face.

Trump attempted to do so, somewhat passively, at the first presidential debate, but was interrupted by moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News — who evidently also believes the hoax.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.