'This Is Disturbing Stuff:' Biden Lies Straight to the American People with No Care in the World


Angelo Negri, I hope the 83 years you spent upon this earth were as interesting as the two years you’ve spent as a Joe Biden gaffe.

Perhaps you haven’t heard of Mr. Negri. Or perhaps the name rings a bell as a barely remembered bit player in some yarn Biden’s babbled. Regardless, the former Amtrak conductor re-emerged again Monday — if not perhaps by name, then in the same debunked gaffe that has given Mr. Negri some measure of fame in the afterlife.

Speaking in Baltimore to publicize a tunnel project that will replace a decrepit tube that dates from the post-Civil War Grant administration, Biden described, yet again, just how much he rode on our nation’s heavily subsidized national passenger rail carrier during his time as veep.

“When I was vice president, I flew over a million miles on Air Force Two,” Biden said.

“And I was going home … as vice president, and one of the conductors said to me, ‘Hey, Joe, big deal, a million whatever, 200 —’ he said, ‘You said have over a million miles on Amtrak.’ I said, ‘How the hell do you know that?’ And they added it up.”

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Now, this time, the story was relayed without a name attached. It did, however, come with a claim that he rode with the engineers “15 percent of the time” and had his own key to the back of the train, which is a new one by me.

And you already thought U.S. rail travel was dangerous.

Now, here’s the story with Mr. Negri’s name attached to it, with Biden telling it in June of 2021.

“You know, the Secret Service — they’re the best in the world — doesn’t like you taking Amtrak because it stops too many times — the train. They want me flying home in the small jets that were available as vice president. And but that cost a lot of money, so I would go home on Fridays, you know, because my mom was passing away,” Biden said. “I’d go home on Amtrak. And they published — they keep fastidious record of the miles you travel in an air – in an Air Force aircraft as president and vice president.

“And toward the end of my term, a headline came out in all of the papers: ‘Biden travels’ — I think it was 1.3 or 1.7 million miles on Air Force planes.

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“And so, I’m getting on the train on that Friday, and these guys who all became my family, all, the conductor. And a guy named Angelo Negri came up, and he goes, ‘Joey, baby!’ Grabs my cheek like that. And I thought they were going to shoot him, I really did,” he continued.

“I said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no. He’s a friend.’ He was like, ‘What the hell.” And he said, ‘Big deal, Joey. A million’ — whatever it was — ‘three-hundred thousand miles. You know how many miles you’ve traveled on Amtrak, Joey?’ And I said, ‘No, Ang, I don’t.’ And he said, ‘At that retirement dinner, we calculated it. We estimated 127 days a year, 250 miles back and forth, 3 — 36 years, then as vice president. Joey, you traveled more on Amtrak.’”

I know you’ll never believe this, given that it’s Joe Biden and he’s nothing if not a stickler for facts, but this never freaking happened.

Is Joe Biden senile?

The Associated Press fact-checked this anecdote when it appeared for the fifth time in October of 2021. Here’s the short version of it: While Biden would have racked up over 1.2 million miles on Air Force Two by the end of his vice presidency in early 2016, Negri died two years earlier and Biden’s mother died four years before that.

As for his time as an employee of Amtrak, Negri left the company in 1993, during Bill Clinton’s first term in office. If Biden doesn’t want to snitch on anybody for giving him the key to the back, Negri is the perfect scapegoat — but other than that, no, there’s no chance the whole “Joey baby!” bit ever happened.

The way it’s currently being told reduces the likelihood from 100 percent bunkum to a solid 98 percent bunkum, if just because Negri’s name is no longer attached to it. He’s also being cagey with the number of miles he reportedly traveled on Amtrak, perhaps having learned from experience that particulars are a Bad Idea™ when it comes to relaying this story.

Of course, if the story is so problematic, why tell it in the first place? Probably because Biden assumes he has a simpatico media — which is more or less true. The AP’s Monday report didn’t mention the anecdote at all and only briefly touched upon the similarly implausible bit about riding with the engineers and having a key to the back with all the dry, just-the-facts objectivity it could muster.

Outlets that did mention it were willing to cut Biden a whole lot of slack. Here was the headline for the U.K. Independent’s take on the tale: “Biden tells heartwarming but repeatedly debunked Amtrak story yet again.”

Imagine the Independent applying this to any other recent situation over in Merrie England: “Prince Andrew gives heartwarming but factually inaccurate alibi for Epstein accusations.” “Liz Truss out as PM after a heartwarming afternoon or two in office.” “Harry details heartwarming fight with his brother over Meghan Markle in his new book.” Etc., etc. Doesn’t quite work, now, does it?

On “Fox & Friends,” Tuesday, they were willing to take the kid gloves off, with “Fox Across America” host Jimmy Failla saying that “this is disturbing stuff.”

“Biden’s Amtrak story, it’s like Large Marge in ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,'” he said, referring to a ghost character in the 1985 Tim Burton movie. “Pee-wee goes in and mentions someone who had died 12 years ago. Everybody’s like, ‘[What’s] wrong with this guy?’ But in this case, he is the president of the United States. And it’s a shame on the other networks that they don’t highlight this because you know who does pay attention to this? [3:15]

“Maybe left-wing media doesn’t, but our enemies do. People are watching our president who quits talking in the middle of a sentence because he’s done,” he continued. “And it’s only going to get worse.”

Well, maybe for the country. For Angelo Negri, however, at least the posthumous spotlight will likely flicker on him at least a few more times before the Biden presidency finally shuts down for good.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture