OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Bien has told the same fake story for what is now the seventh time. A story that was fact checked and debunked by the Associated Press last year.
The president was with Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman at the launch of the Additive Manufacturing Forward initiative in Ohio when he told the story of his friend, rail worker Angelo Negri, The Daily Mail reported.
He appears to shift the date of the meeting from his last retelling, where he claimed it happened in 2015, to before the death of his mother in January 2010, when he was Vice President.
Negri retired as an Amtrak conductor in 1993, according to his 2014 obituary. That is long before Biden was elected vice president in 2008. In one re-telling, Biden claimed to have hit the milestone in 2015 – a year after Negri’s death.
On Saturday, Biden opened the story by addressing Brown in particular: ‘You’d get a kick out of this, Sherrod.’
“I was – the Secret Service doesn’t like me taking the train because it stops too many places,” the president said. “And so I was riding home though to see my mom who was living with me because she was in hospice.”
“And on a Friday, a guy named Angelo Negri, a conductor, senior conductor, walked up and said, ‘Joey, baby!’ – grabbed my cheek. I though he was gonna shoot him. He goes, ‘Joey!’ I said, ‘Ang!’ I said, ‘He’s okay, he’s a friend.’ True story,” he said.
“'[Angelo] said, ‘What’s all this I read in the paper? You travel over a million miles on Air Force planes.”
“Every single mile the vice president or president travels, they keep a public record of on an aircraft, an American aircraft,” the president said.
“And he said, ‘The boys and I were at the retirement dinner up in Jersey. So we figured it out. Average 222 days a year, 36 years, total of 269 miles every day. Joey,’ – and I don’t know whether it’s true or not – he said, ‘1,200,000 miles, not counted as vice president.’ So I know a lot about trains,” he said.
It is a story he has told many times to emphasize the need for infrastructure repairs, and while Negri’s daughter has confirmed that the two were friends the dates appear to be impossible,” The Associated Press reported in October 2021.
“By his own accounting, Biden’s Amtrak miles over the years only surpassed his Air Force Two miles after the conductor who supposedly informed him of that fact had died. Moreover, the conductor had retired about two decades before the conversation Biden claims to have had with him while boarding a train,” the fact check said.
“The tale as Biden spins it is wrong. Negri could not have had that conversation because he was already deceased by the time Biden logged 1.2 million miles on Air Force Two.
“Biden refers to a train ride he made to Delaware when he was vice president and his mother was sick and dying. He explains it happened shortly after he had flown 1.2 million miles, spurring Negri’s comment about his mileage on Amtrak in comparison. On previous occasions when Biden has told the story, he’s also indicated that it all happened around his “fourth or fifth year” as vice president — or 2012-2013 — although in a rendition of the story told to a crowd in Scranton, Pennsylvania, last week, Biden suggested it was in his seventh year, which would be 2015,” it said.
It is possible that the president is recalling a conversation with another conductor and confusing it with one of his conversations with Negri, who he had a close relationship with, his daughter said.
But after being fact checked by the AP why has he not stopped telling the same story? The president has told versions of the story on October 12, 2020, April 30, 2021, June 29, 2021, September 21, 2021, October 20, 2021 and December 8, 2021.