Biden Pushes Clip of Wildly False Trump Attack That Received 4 Pinocchios in Fact Check


Someone ought to ask 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden when he expects his fight to reintroduce political decency and “restore the soul of America” will be getting underway — because apparently it isn’t beginning on the road to the White House.

Biden suffered an embarrassing callout at the hands of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign this week for recirculating a portion of a negative video advertisement declared misleading by fact checkers.

The clip, which resurfaced Tuesday on official Biden campaign social media accounts, appears to show Trump referring to COVID-19 as a “hoax” while addressing a rally audience on Feb. 28.

“The coronavirus. And this is their new hoax,” Trump can be heard saying in one clip, later followed by a second clip from a different rally in which he adds: “Many call it a virus, which it is. Many call it a flu. What difference?”

Audio from a private April 13 interview between Trump and longtime establishment media journalist Bob Woodward in which the president conversely refers to the virus as a “killer” then plays, followed by a graphic displaying the pandemic death toll that insinuates the Trump administration’s supposed dishonesty was to blame.

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One oh-so-inconsequential flaw exists in the advertisement, however: Trump never actually referred to the virus itself as a hoax.

In fact, the insinuation that he had, both from Biden’s campaign and others on the left, was enough to earn the claim a flurry of fact checks from independent media sources, particularly when a previous version of this ad was produced and released in its initial form this past March. The original version of the advertisement included only the first clip of the president dismissing the virus.

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Among the outlets to fact-check this misleading claim were known administration detractors such as CNN, Snopes and The Washington Post — a reality the Trump campaign was not about to let pass by unnoticed.

“Joe Biden is pushing doctored videos of President Trump again, falsely claiming he called the coronavirus a hoax,” Team Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter. “This has been debunked by 6 independent fact checkers.”

“The Washington Post gave Biden 4 Pinnochios for this manipulated media!” the campaign added.

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Even at The Post, which did in fact rate the original version of the advertisement a lie worthy of four Pinocchios (due to a combination of the “hoax” claim and another out-of-context clip from the original version of the ad), editor Meg Kelly was willing to admit the video “manipulates” several statements in an effort to “slam Trump.”

“The camera shows a tight shot of the president saying ‘coronavirus’ and then cuts to a wide shot where he says, ‘this is their new hoax,’ the author wrote. “Both clips are from Trump’s Feb. 28 campaign rally in North Charleston, S.C., but he never said ‘coronavirus, this is their new hoax.’ Rather, Biden’s ad clipped a large part of Trump’s speech to make it seem as though he had.”

An unedited version of Trump’s statement reveals the president accused Democratic politicians and operatives of “politicizing” the virus for their own gain, comparing investigation and criticism of his administration’s virus response to previous left-wing conspiracy theories surrounding the Russia and Ukraine scandals — both of which he referred to as hoaxes.

In a follow-up statement on Feb. 29, Trump also clarified he had been referring to the Democratic response to his pandemic policy as a hoax, according to The Post.

Lead Stories,, CheckYourFact and PolitiFact came down similarly on the claim that Trump called the coronavirus a “hoax,” with the latter describing it as outright “false.”

“The video makes it seem like Trump is calling the disease itself a hoax, which he hasn’t done,” the outlet wrote. “The words are Trump’s, but the editing is Biden’s.”

And with the Democratic National Committee so focused on presenting its 2020 presidential candidate as the decent and honest alternative to Trump, this raises a serious question: Why would the Biden campaign run such an obviously deceptive video advertisement?

Did they just assume the left-wing establishment media would let them get away with it, is Biden just another phony D.C. insider after all or was Old El Paso right when it asked, “Porque no los dos?”

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.