Facts Matter: Biden overstated travel with China president

  • Then-Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they pose for photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. In his televised address to Congress, Biden he'd traveled over 17,000 miles with Xi, but the numbers don't add up to quite that much.

    Then-Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they pose for photos at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. In his televised address to Congress, Biden he'd traveled over 17,000 miles with Xi, but the numbers don't add up to quite that much. AP File Photo/Dec. 4, 2018

Posted5/2/2021 5:30 AM

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, President Joe Biden "stretched the truth" when he went off script and ad-libbed, according to The Washington Post.

Biden said he "spent a lot of time with (Chinese) President Xi -- traveled over 17,000 miles with him."


This claim, previously debunked by the Post, doesn't add up.

In 2011, when Biden was vice president, he traveled to China to meet with Xi Jinping, who was serving as vice president at that time. During the three-day trip, they had dinner in Beijing and visited a city nearly 50 miles away. Biden then flew to Mongolia.

In 2012, Biden and Xi met at the White House with President Barack Obama. Xi and Biden then separately traveled to Los Angeles for other events.

A White House official told the Post that Biden's claim is not accurate.

"This was a reference to the total travel back and forth -- both internally in the U.S. and China, and as well as internationally -- for meetings they held together," the official said.

Biden not banning burgers

President Joe Biden's climate plan was recently linked to an unrelated study on meat consumption and resulted in false claims on cable new programs.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

"To meet the Biden Green New Deal targets, America has to, get this, America has to stop eating meat," Fox Business host Larry Kudlow said. "No burger on July 4. No steaks on the barbecue."

But the president's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% doesn't include any restrictions on how much meat people can eat, a White House spokesperson told PolitiFact.com.

The false claim about Biden's plan was tied to a Daily Mail article from last year that said a 90% reduction in beef consumption, along with a reduction in the consumption of other meats, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with agricultural production by 50%.

"The study was published in January 2020, when Trump was still president, so it had nothing to do with Biden or his climate change plan," Tulane University professor Diego Rose told PolitiFact.


The claim was also tweeted out by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.

CPD didn't tweet about Chauvin

A tweet purportedly from the Chicago Police Department, or CPD, showing support for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, after he was convicted in the murder of George Floyd, is fake, according to USA Today.

The fake tweet, which appears to be from the department's official Twitter account, saying "We are all Derek Chauvin," has received 232,000 likes and was retweeted more than 50,000 times. Shortly after the fake tweet went viral, the CPD issued a statement denouncing the false information.

"Not only does this synthetic and manipulated image, which is antithetical to our values, reflect the very worst of disinformation on social media, it also puts our officers and communities at risk by widening the gap in trust that we are working so hard to build, bridge and restore," department spokesperson Sally Bown said in the statement.

There are no posts in the police department's account that reference the Chauvin trial, USA Today said.

'Jeopardy!' champ didn't flash white power sign

A recent "Jeopardy!" champion held up three fingers during the introductions to indicated how many games he had won. Some internet users saw it differently.

"So ... last night on Jeopardy, the champion flashed the white power hand sign!" read a Twitter post.

After winning three games, contestant Kelly Donohue, a bank examiner from Massachusetts, appeared to show three fingers in a hand gesture, according to Snopes.com. Previously, Donohue had held up one finger after his first win and displayed two fingers after his second victory.

The Anti-Defamation League has classified the OK hand gesture, forming a circle with the thumb and forefinger while the other three fingers are extended, as sometimes used as a white power symbol.

Donohue, in a since-deleted Facebook post, insisted he was indicating the number of games he won, according to Newsweek.

"Many of the great champions of old had a little signature hello they would do on-screen when being introduced by Johnny Gilbert. I decided to count my victories," Donohue wrote. "That's a 1. That's a 2. That's a 3. No more. No less. There wasn't a hidden agenda or any malice behind it."

A letter, signed by 467 people claiming to be former "Jeopardy!" participants, was issued online demanding the show's producers apologize for airing the hand gesture.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.