Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted the debunked “Charlottesville very fine people hoax” on Thursday in an attempt to blame President Donald Trump for a foiled kidnapping plot by members of a militia in Michigan.
On Thursday, federal agents arrested half dozen alleged conspirators who had plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The group shared an anti-government ideology; one member recorded a video denouncing Trump as a “tyrant.”
Yet Biden and Whitmer each blamed Trump, without evidence, claiming that his rhetoric had inspired the plotters.
Biden took that one step further, citing Trump’s comments on the Charlottesville riots in 2017. Trump said that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists there should be “condemned totally,” yet Biden has claimed for two years that Trump said they were “very fine people.” (Trump had been referring to non-violent protesters on either side of a statue debate.)
On Thursday evening, Biden tweeted a video from the vice presidential debate the night before, featuring his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). Biden tweeted the part of the debate where Harris repeated the hoax:
Time and time again, President Trump has refused to condemn white supremacy and stoked the flames of hate for political gain.
It’s a pattern — and America deserves better. pic.twitter.com/o1zKKd0bpf
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 9, 2020
Biden left out Vice President Mike Pence’s response, in which he debunked the hoax entirely:
You know, I think this is one of the things that makes people dislike the media so much in this country, Susan, is that you selectively edit — just like Senator Harris did — the comments that President Trump and I and others on our side of the aisle make. I mean — Senator Harris conveniently omitted, after the president made comments about people on either side of the debate over monuments, he condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists, and has done so repeatedly. You’re concerned that he “doesn’t condemn neo-Nazis”? President Trump has Jewish grandchildren! His daughter and son-in-law are Jewish. This is a president who respects and cherishes all of the American people.
The BBC fact-checked Harris’s claims as false; most U.S. fact-checkers, who lean left, ignored the exchange because it went so badly for Harris.
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.