Yesterday Joe Biden introduced newly-confirmed Judge Ketanji Jackson at the White House. He spoke for around 17 minutes. Biden started out relatively strong, at least within a normal range. But this is what he sounded like at the end:
BIDEN: “I was in the the foothills of the Himalayas with Xi Jinping, traveling with him, that’s when I traveled 17,000 miles when I was Vice President. I don’t know that for a fact.” pic.twitter.com/hoiGCUGckR
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 8, 2022
Biden can talk for a few minutes at a time, but he rapidly lapses into incoherence. Incoherence plus fabulism: it was hard to make out, but Biden purported to recall a conversation with China’s Xi Pinjing that took place “in the foothills of the Himalayas.” Biden says that as vice president he traveled with Xi for “17,000 miles.”
This is a story that Biden has told before. He evidently refers to a trip he made to China as vice president in August 2011. Xi was vice president of China at the time, and Biden did meet with him. In fact, they were together in Dujiangyan, a city in Sichuan that is around 1,000 miles from the Himalayas and also around 1,000 miles both from Beijing and from Mongolia, where Biden had been the previous day. (I can’t readily tell whether Xi was with Biden in Mongolia or not; I see no indication that he was.)
In any event, by February 2021 Biden’s story about traveling 17,000 with Xi, now China’s leader, was notorious enough that the Washington Post fact-checked it and concluded, “Despite extensive meetings and multiple diplomatic [sic], President Biden’s claim he ‘traveled 17,000 miles with’ President Xi can’t be verified.” Presumably the fact that this story has been rebutted by his home town newspaper explains Biden’s unscripted interjection that “I don’t know that for a fact.” Biden tells the same old lies, but now he acknowledges that he may just be making them up.
One can only imagine what leaders of other countries–Xi, for example, the subject of this particular fable–make of our president.
UPDATE: I didn’t realize that Scott was working on a post covering this same ground. Not surprisingly, his take is similar to mine.