Just how bad was this awful, no-good day for Joe Biden? CNN had no choice but to roll Daniel Dale out for a fact-check. Of Biden. That’s how bad.
Watch as Dale comes out and fact-checks Biden’s epic meltdown of a press conference during CNN’s Nevada caucus coverage which ended up being about the special counsel report and about the Supreme Court hearing on Colorado booting Trump from the ballot (click “expand”):
LAURA COATES: In just a moment, Abby (Phillip) will interview Biden’s Democratic challenger Dean Phillips. But first, here for a fact check of some of (Biden’s) claims, we’re joined by CNN’s Daniel Dale for that very fact check. Daniel, tell me: what stood out to you?
DANIEL DALE: There was at least one claim, Laura, that just was not true. President Biden was saying- he was talking about his handling of classified information. He said it was all at his house, unlike former President Trump, who had stuff at his, you know, club where there are weddings and events and so on. But he also said that all of the classified material at his house was in filing cabinets that were either locked or able to be locked. The thing about this report is that there are photos. There are pictures in there that show that, yes, some of it was in filing cabinets, but there were also classified documents that were just sitting in boxes, at least one of which was damaged alongside just junk. You know, the special counsel called it “household detritus”. So the idea that this was all locked up and safe is not true.
And the president also made some claims that, at very least, were contradicted by allegations in the special counsel’s report. For example, he said- he denied that he disclosed any information to his ghostwriter, which was an allegation from the special counsel. And he claimed all this material was a memo that he wrote to President Obama about why we shouldn’t be in Afghanistan. Now the special counsel did say there was such a memo and related materials, but that there was also a whole bunch of others about stuff- specifically that President Biden took notes about very sensitive material during Situation Room meetings, during intelligence briefings with President Obama, and disclosed some of that information to ghostwriters.
And I’ll mention one more thing. President Biden said that, unlike President Trump- unlike former President Trump, none of the material he had was what he called high classified. Now, according to the special counsel at least, that is not true. The special counsel reported some of this material was marked Top Secret and some of it related to highly sensitive clandestine human source operations. So- the real secret stuff that is not supposed to get outside the government was allegedly in possession of President Biden at his home.
At one point, Dale went for a monthslong stretch without fact-checking the president, and in fact, has a predilection for checking the former president. Not today, though.
As we pointed out in our earlier item, the media largely tiptoed around the more damaging elements of the special counsel’s report, mainly, the extent to which Biden’s statements are contradicted and rendered false. The special counsel’s statements on diminished memory inflamed the media, and enabled concealment or suppression of Biden’s false statements on the matter.
This isn’t to say that Dale’s fact check was perfect. For example, he didn’t delve into Biden’s prerecorded acknowledgement of having the boxes of documents in 2017- which obliterates any narratives about immediate turnover upon acknowledgement of possession. But Dale does go into the ghostwriter disclosures, as well as Biden’s false claim of the documents being locked up.
Like CBS’s Catherine Herridge, Dale also gets into some of the specificity of the most sensitive documents held by Biden, dismantling another claim which was also used to differentiate Biden’s document case from Trump’s by alleging different degrees of severity.
As the old saying goes, “one swallow does not a summer make”. One fact-check of Joe Biden does not mitigate years of dormancy, but nonetheless, a fact-check was made. And that’s the kind of day that Joe Biden ended up having.