BBC Fact-Checks Joe Biden's Charlottesville 'Very Fine People' Claim, Here's What Trump Really Said


“Honest politician” seems like an oxymoron, but we still find ourselves mustering up a bit of trust when voting for candidates we hope will do as they say. Honesty is important, and anyone along the political spectrum would agree that if those we voted for merely gave us lip service and abandoned their promises post-election, we would take back our vote if we could.

If there is a way to measure the honesty of a candidate, responsible citizens should actively be doing so when considering where to place their votes — especially for the presidential election.

For example, how do they handle the truth when criticizing a political opponent? Do they stick to the facts, or do they try to deceive those they’re addressing?

Last week, Joe Biden was officially nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate at the Democratic National Convention. During his acceptance speech, Biden chose the second option.

The former vice president regurgitated the falsehood that President Donald Trump called white supremacists “very fine people” at the controversial Charlottesville, Virginia, protest of 2017.

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Toward the end of his speech, Biden remarked on the “urgent task” of “wip[ing] out the stain of racism from our national character.”

“I believe we are up to it. I believe we are ready,” he said.

“Just a week ago yesterday was the third anniversary of the events in Charlottesville,” Biden continued. “Close your eyes and remember what you saw on television.

“Remember seeing those neo-Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? Veins bulging? Spewing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the ’30s? Remember the violent clash that ensued between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it?

“You remember what the president said when asked? He said there were quote, ‘very fine people on both sides.’

“It was a wake-up call for us as a country. And for me, a call to action. At that moment, I knew I’d have to run. My father taught us that silence was complicity. And I could never remain silent or complicit.”

A week prior to the convention, he had peddled the same narrative on Twitter.

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Biden is implying that the Trump presidency is an agent for racism and anyone not working to get rid of it is complicit.

What does this mean for Americans who support the president?

Thankfully, there are real moments of journalism when misinformation and lies are put in their place despite the political affiliation of the speaker.

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Members of the BBC’s Reality Check team fact-checked some of Biden’s remarks in his DNC speech, and because they are literate, they have the ability to read the full transcripts of Trump’s remarks — including the ones from Aug. 15, 2017, that were quoted by Biden and his team.

The BBC affirmed that the president did say the phrase “very fine people,” but it provided a few words that followed to give the full context — and a few words go quite a long way.

“According to a transcript of a press conference on 15 August, President Trump did say — when asked about the presence of neo-Nazis at the rally — ‘you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides,'” the report said.

The BBC then shared another quote from Trump’s Q&A that completely undermines the DNC’s propaganda that he supports racism:

“During the same press conference, Mr. Trump went on to say, ‘I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.'”

In an attempt to paint Trump as one who stokes racial animosity, Biden and the Democratic Party have perpetuated dishonest rhetoric to further divide the American people.

There has been no shortage of this sort of rhetoric by the left, piecemealing Trump’s words for the sake of assassinating his character, such as claiming he called all illegal immigrants “animals” or that his travel ban was a Muslim ban.

Biden and the radical left are serpent-like in their handling of the truth.

That’s something every voter should keep in mind come Nov. 3.

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Joey Pietro is an Arizona native who has spent nearly a decade as a local educator. He holds a bachelor's in English from American Public University.
Joey Pietro was an Arizona native who has spent nearly a decade as a local educator. He holds a bachelor's in English from American Public University.