On Thursday, when giving a lecture on democracy in Arizona, President Biden recycled an old lie by claiming he and Chinese President Xi Jinping are travel buddies.
Biden bragged that he has spent more time with Xi Jinping than any other leader. He claimed he has spent upward of 68 hours together, just the two of them and an interpreter, and has flown 17,000 miles with him between here and China.
As in all the lies Biden tells, he comes off as a sage, and in this fabrication, he is a philosophical seer. In his best Walter Mitty impersonation, Biden says that the Chinese President turns to him and asks that he define America for him in one word. Biden pauses and says, “Possibilities.”
At least 21 times during his presidency, Mr. Biden repeated the story, which has since been disproved. WaPo rated Mr. Biden’s lack of honesty and how many times he’s repeated it as “bottomless Pinocchios” in November 2022.
Once it became apparent that Mr. Xi would succeed President Hu Jintao as China’s leader, then Vice President Biden was charged by the Obama administration with getting to know Mr. Xi better. Vice President Biden met with President Xi during the Obama administration three times.
But despite all the times they met, they only took a single trip together in 2011. About fifty miles outside Beijing, the two visited a high school.
Mr. Biden’s only official meeting with Mr. Xi occurred at last year’s G20 summit in Indonesia. There is no evidence that the two met on the road before their meeting.
In 2016, Mr. Biden gave a slightly modified version of the same anecdote at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton.
Seven years ago, Obama and China’s then-president thought the two countries’ leaders should meet. “Because of that, I went 17,000 miles across his country and our country over the course of nine days,” he explained.
A White House official told the Post in 2021 that the president had exaggerated his accomplishments.
The person told the Post that this was a reference to the overall travel between the United States and China for meetings between the two countries. It was “parallel” in some cases and “separate” in others, but all to the same places.
On the other hand, the Post calculated that Mr. Biden had traveled 3,300 miles for meetings with Mr. Xi through November 2021; this number increases to 5,600 miles when round-trip mileage is included.
Mr. Biden has continued to recount the tale as recently as April.