, perhaps the most well-known fact-checking website, has finally confirmed — seven years later — that President Donald Trump did not refer to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville in August 2017 as “very fine people.”

The false claim was central to President Joe Biden’s election in 2020. He used it to launch his campaign in April 2019, claiming he had been inspired to run against President Trump because the latter called neo-Nazis “very fine people.”

The reality was that Trump had actually condemned the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and had used the phrase “very fine people” to describe non-violent protesters on both sides of the issue of the removal of a Confederate statue.

Several commentators — notably cartoonist-turned-pundit Scott Adams, and conservative commentator Steve Cortes — publicly debunked what became known as the “very fine people” hoax, but Biden and the media continued to use it.

Breitbart News confronted Biden at the Iowa State Fair in August 2019 and asked why he continued to misquote Trump. Biden responded angrily, reciting a well-rehearsed text about Trump calling neo-Nazis “very fine people.”

The hoax was publicly debunked twice on the national stage — one during the 2020 vice presidential debate, and again during Trump’s second impeachment trial, when his lawyers demolished the hoax for the world to see:

Biden continued to use the “very fine people” hoax well into his presidency. But now, with the incumbent facing a tough re-election fight, and growing pressure to step aside, has finally debunked the “fine people hoax.”

In a June 20, 2024 post, Snopes rated as “false” the claim: “On Aug. 15, 2017, then-President Donald Trump called neo-Nazis and white supremacists who attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, ‘very fine people.'”

It says:

We looked into these claims, and found that while Trump did say there were “very fine people on both sides,” meaning both the protesters and the counterprotesters, he also condemned neo-Nazis and white nationalists outright and said he was specifically referring to those who were there only to participate in the statue protest.

In sum, while Trump did say that there were “very fine people on both sides,” he also specifically noted that he was not talking about neo-Nazis and white supremacists and said they should be “condemned totally.” Therefore, we have rated this claim “False.”

Snopes also includes a transcript of Trump’s full remarks, in context, so that readers can judge for themselves.

In an “editor’s note,” Snopes says that Trump was wrong in his claim that there were “very fine people on both sides,” but that the fact check simply aimed to determine whether he had praised the neo-Nazis or not. “This fact check aimed to confirm what Trump actually said, not whether what he said was true or false,” Snopes says.

In fact, as the New York Times reported at the time, there were some non-violent, non-racist supporters of the Confederate statue at the Charlottesville rally. Their cause was hijacked by the neo-Nazis and the white supremacists, but they were there in Charlottesville, as the contemporaneous account by the Times — hardly a pro-Trump source — noted.

Regardless, the Snopes fact-check comes just days before Biden and Trump are to meet for their first debate of the 2024 election on CNN on June 27. If Biden tries to use the “very fine people” hoax again, he may face new opposition.

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). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency,” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.