President Biden raised eyebrows on social media Tuesday after he told a crowd in Wisconsin that he watched a bridge collapse in Pittsburg last year.
Biden was touting his economic policies during a stop at Ingeteam, a wind turbine generator manufacturer in Milwaukee, when he brought up the 2022 collapse.
“A lot of you were with me when I was in Pittsburgh,” he said. “By the way, Pittsburgh is a city of bridges — more bridges in Pittsburgh than any other city in America.”
“I watched that bridge collapse,” he said. “I got there and saw it collapse with over 200 feet off the ground going over a valley. It collapsed. Thank God school was out during the pandemic.”
President Joe Biden greets guests following a speech at Ingeteam Inc., an electrical equipment manufacturer, on August 15, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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The Republican National Committee posted a clip of Biden’s remarks on X, formerly Twitter, adding, “That didn’t happen.”
On Jan. 28, 2022, hours before Biden’s arrival in Pittsburgh for a pre-planned speech, the 477-foot Forbes Avenue Bridge collapsed, injuring multiple people. Biden reportedly gave his speech four miles away from the bridge, and he later visited the site of the damage, but he did not witness the collapse firsthand.
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The president has a long history of exaggerating stories about himself. In November 2021, he said he “had a house burn down with my wife in it.” A month earlier, he recounted for the fifth time during his presidency a debunked story about an Amtrak employee during a speech in New Jersey. The employee Biden frequently mentioned actually died a year before the story was said to have taken place.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to guests at Ingeteam Inc., an electrical equipment manufacturer, on August 15, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
In 2020, Biden had to walk back repeated claims that he was arrested in apartheid-era South Africa while trying to visit Nelson Mandela.
In 2019, Biden told a crowd of college students a harrowing story about a Navy captain in Afghanistan that was later debunked by The Washington Post.
In 2013, Biden said he heard the gunshots of an Amish schoolhouse shooting that killed five students while playing golf nearby in Pennsylvania in 2006. The Washington Times poured cold water on the claim at the time, reporting that no golf course in the area had any record of hosting Biden.
US President Joe Biden and the Mayor of Pittsburgh Ed Gainey visit the scene of the Forbes Avenue Bridge collapse over Fern Hollow Creek in Frick Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 28, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
In 2008, Biden said his helicopter in Afghanistan was “forced down” by Al Qaeda insurgents on “the superhighway of terror.” The Associated Press later reported that a snowstorm, not the enemy, forced the pilot to land.
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In 2007, Biden said he had been “shot at” during a trip years earlier to Iraq. He later clarified that he was “near where a shot landed.”
Biden’s tall-tale telling came to light during his first presidential campaign in 1988, from which he eventually withdrew under the weight of multiple plagiarism allegations. During that campaign, he also falsely claimed that he attended law school on a full scholarship and graduated in the top half of his class, which he later admitted was untrue. He also said at the time that he “marched with tens of thousands” of people during the Civil Rights Movement, but that also turned out to be false.