News and Commentary

Joe Biden Now Denies Telling Obama Not To Go After Osama Bin Laden In 2011
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during a campaign event on January 3, 2020 in Independence, Iowa.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden now says he didn’t tell President Barack Obama to hold off on killing Osama bin Laden back in 2011, a stark contrast to his claim eight years ago.

Biden, the current 2020 Democratic frontrunner, told Fox News on Friday at a campaign stop that he did not tell Obama in 2011 not to go after Osama on the day Americans took out the world’s top terrorist leader.

Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Biden on Friday if he would make the same decision President Donald Trump just made in taking out a top terrorist leader, as Trump that same day ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

“As commander in chief, if you were ever handed a piece of intelligence that said you could stop an imminent attack on Americans — but you have to use an airstrike to take out a terrorist leader — would you pull the trigger?” Doocy asked Biden.

“Well we did – the guy’s name was Usama bin Laden,” Biden said.

“Didn’t you tell President Obama not to go after bin Laden that day?” Doocy then asked.

“No, I didn’t,” Biden responded.

As Doocy reported, Biden told a different story eight years ago in January 2012 while speaking at a Maryland retreat for congressional Democrats. At the time, Biden was discussing what took place during a strategy session ahead of the bin Laden raid in 2011.

“Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go — we have to do two more things to see if he’s there,” claimed to have said during that session.

Now Biden denies that is what he said.

Republican National Committee spokesman Steve Guest told Fox News that “This isn’t another instance of Joe Biden misspeaking, it’s an instance of Biden flat-out lying.”

Biden said during his event in Iowa on Friday that Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani was short-sided and dangerous.

“No matter how rightly reviled he was in the West, he was a senior figure in the Iranian government,” Biden said.

“I don’t know and you don’t know what the hell he’s done,” Biden later told Doocy. “We don’t know if he’s coordinated with our allies, we have no idea what commitments he’s made, we have no idea. I just hope he has a plan for second and third iterations of this — but it’s clear there’s going to have to be more folks there to protect the embassy, to protect American personnel in Iraq.”

Biden has a history of backtracking on statements and giving shaky explanations. He has repeatedly lied about Trump calling a bunch of White Nationalists “very fine people” even though footage of Trump’s remarks have debunked the claim.

Biden has also told a story about giving a Silver Star to a Navy Captain who said he didn’t feel he deserved it. Earlier this year it was reported that Biden’s story has changed over the years and likely never happened.

Biden had claimed he tried to pin the Silver Star on the chest of the captain after the captain retrieved the body of an American soldier from the bottom of a 60-foot ravine. The Washington Post reported:

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.