Biden’s 2022 Remarks Not Related to Trump Indictment, Contrary to Online Posts

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Quick Take  

Social media posts and former President Donald Trump are sharing an edited video of President Joe Biden to make the unfounded claim that Biden “is coordinating these Trump indictments.” Biden’s comments, made in 2022, were related to international concerns about American democracy, not Trump’s legal battles.


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Following the 2022 midterm elections, President Joe Biden spent about an hour speaking to and answering questions from reporters at the White House.

Now, a 16-second clip from that Nov. 9 press conference is being used to support former President Donald Trump’s claim that the criminal charges brought against him in New York amount to “election interference” orchestrated by top Democrats.

Rogan O’Handley, a conservative influencer who goes by the online moniker “DC_Draino,” posted the clip to Truth Social on April 3 with text that said, “Biden all but confirmed that his team is coordinating these Trump indictments to ‘stop Trump from taking power again.’”

Trump then amplified the post, sharing it with his 5 million followers.

Social media users on mainstream platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, have been sharing copies of the claim, too.

O’Handley’s post went viral a day before the indictment against Trump was unsealed, revealing that Manhattan prosecutors have accused Trump of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to alleged hush-money payments during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump is also facing several other potential legal actions, including an investigation into his handling of classified documents, a criminal inquiry into his attempted interference with the 2020 election results in Georgia, a civil inquiry in New York into his family’s business practices, and the continuing investigation into his role in instigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump has continued to dismiss his mounting legal troubles as a conspiracy among Democrats to botch his run for president in 2024. “It’s a new way of cheating on elections,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in a March 27 interview. “It’s called election interference.”

But Biden’s November remarks aren’t a confirmation that “his team is coordinating these Trump indictments.”

Here’s what the original video showed:

CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Phil Mattingly, asked Biden a multipart question over the course of about five minutes. The question centered on how world leaders should view the potential of Trump running again for office.

In his answer, Biden referred to the first G7 meeting he attended after taking office, where he told world leaders, “America is back.”

“One of them turned to me and said, ‘For how long,’” Biden said at the press conference, explaining that other leaders had expressed concern about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in which Trump’s supporters tried to stop the certification of Biden’s presidential victory.

“They want to know: Is the United States stable,” Biden said.

“They’re very concerned that we are still the open democracy we’ve been and that we have rules and the institutions matter. And that’s the context in which I think that they’re looking at: Are we back to a place where we are going to accept decisions made by the court, by the Congress, by the government, et cetera,” he said.

Biden was referring to Trump’s failed attempt to remain in power by trying to carry out what the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol described as an “unconstitutional and illegal theory.”

Trump had pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence — who had a ministerial role in the official congressional counting of the electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021 — to reject certified electors from some states that Trump lost and allow Republican-controlled legislatures in those states to send Congress new slates of Trump electors. “If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency,” Trump tweeted on Jan. 6, 2021.

After Biden answered his question, Mattingly followed up by asking about Trump’s future: “The entire genesis of that G7 conversation was tied to your predecessor, who is about to launch another campaign. So how do you reassure them, if that is the reason for their questioning, that the former president will not return or that his political movement, which is still very strong, will not once again take power in the United States?”

To which Biden responded: “Well, we just have to demonstrate that he will not take power by — if we — if he does run. I’m making sure he, under legitimate efforts of our Constitution, does not become the next President again.”

Those last two sentences from Biden are the only part of his answer that’s included in the clip circulating on social media.

As we said, the clip doesn’t show that Biden “all but confirmed” his team is coordinating the various investigations facing Trump. It shows that Biden responded to a reporter’s question in 2022 about international views on the former president’s political future and suggested that, unlike Trump, he wouldn’t attempt to use unconstitutional means to remain in power.


Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.

Sources

President Biden News Conference on Midterm Election Results.” C-SPAN. 9 Nov 2022.

Farley, Robert and D’Angelo Gore. “What’s in Trump’s Indictment?” FactCheck.org. 4 Apr 2023.

Farley, Robert and Eugene Kiely. “Q&A on Stormy Daniels’ Payment.” FactCheck.org. Updated 27 Feb 2019.

Bragg, Alvin. Manhattan District Attorney. Press release. “District Attorney Bragg Announces 34-Count Felony Indictment of Former President Donald J. Trump.” 4 Apr 2023.

Madhani, Aamer. “Biden declares ‘America is back’ in welcome words to allies.” Associated Press. 19 Feb 2021.

House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Final report. 22 Dec 2022.

Kiely, Eugene, et al. “Trump’s Falsehood-Filled ‘Save America’ Rally.” FactCheck.org. 6 Jan 2021.

Trump, Donald (@realDonaldTrump). “If Vice President @Mike_Pence comes through for us, we will win the Presidency. Many States want to decertify the mistake they made in certifying incorrect & even fraudulent numbers in a process NOT approved by their State Legislatures (which it must be). Mike can send it back!” Twitter. 6 Jan 2021.

White House. Remarks by President Biden in Press Conference. 9 Nov 2022.

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