‘Just False’: CNN Calls Out Biden on Claim He Visited Synagogue After Massacre

Jen Psaki’s job of cleaning up after Joe Biden just got even tougher. She now has to try to explain away Biden’s claim to have visited the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the 2018 anti-Semitic massacre there that killed 11 people.

There’s just one problem with the claim: the synagogue says Biden never visited.

CNN called Biden out on it this morning. Reporter Daniel Dale, CNN’s resident Biden fact-checker, said Biden’s statement “appears to be just false.” Not “just” in the sense of “barely” false. “Just” in the sense of “flat-out” false!

During the segment, CNN aired a clip of Biden’s statement of yesterday in which he spoke of “spending time” at, and “going to,” the Tree of Life synagogue. Here’s some of CNN breaking down the falsehood: 

DANIEL DALE: President Biden spoke with Jewish leaders yesterday in advance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and he said something that appears to be just false. Biden said he remembered visiting the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He strongly suggested, after the synagogue was the site of an anti-Semitic terror attack in 2018 that killed 11 people.

JOE BIDEN: I remember spending time at the, you know, go-, going to, uh, the, uh, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with, ma  — it just, it just is amazing these things are happening. Happening in America.

DALE: There is a big problem here. The executive director of the Tree of Life synagogue told the New York Post that Biden had not actually visited. CNN reached out to the White House about this, and so far they have not been willing to comment. In other words, they have not disputed what the synagogue had told the Post. And CNN has found no news articles or anything else that would serve as evidence that Biden did visit.

Perhaps Psaki could quote George Costanza’s famous Seinfeld line: “it’s not a lie if you believe it.” After all, in his statement, Biden did say he “remembered” visiting the Tree of Life. And—who knows?—perhaps Biden does believe he had been there… even if he hadn’t.Joe Biden CNN New Day 9-3-21

Of course, that line of defense would create problems of its own. But Kamala’s surely ready and willing—if not able—to step in. 

When Dale threw it back to the studio, substitute host Kaitlin Collins quickly dropped the hot potato without any real comment, transitioning to a discussion of Biden’s economic plan.

When Psaki’s days as Biden spox are over, might she look for an easier job? Trailing the elephants in the parade, perhaps?

Between its persistent criticism of Biden’s Afghanistan fiasco, as here and here, and now this reporting on his latest embellishment of his past, CNN has been unusually tough on a president it normally loves to love. Look for the network to snap back into liberal line as the next election cycle approaches.

CNN calling out Biden’s apparently false claim to have visited the Tree of Life synagogue after the 2018 massacre there was sponsored in part by Tempur-Pedic.

Here’s the transcript. Click “expand” to read more. 

CNN
New Day
9/3/21
6:30 am EDT

KAITLIN COLLINS: President Biden is also facing pushback this morning for a claim he made during an event with Jewish leaders yesterday. CNN’s Daniel Dale has a fact check on it.

DANIEL DALE: President Biden spoke with Jewish leaders yesterday in advance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and he said something that appears to be just false. Biden said he remembered visiting the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He strongly suggested, after the synagogue was the site of an anti-Semitic terror attack in 2018 that killed 11 people.

JOE BIDEN: I remember spending time at the, you know, go-, going to, uh, the, uh, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with, ma  — it just, it just is amazing these things are happening. Happening in America.

DALE: There is a big problem here. The executive director of the Tree of Life synagogue told the New York Post that Biden had not actually visited. CNN reached out to the White House about this, and so far they have not been willing to comment. In other words, they have not disputed what the synagogue had told the Post. 

And CNN has found no news articles or anything else that would serve as evidence that Biden did visit. Now, it is possible that Biden spoke with someone from the synagogue, say by phone. That quote you heard ended with him talking about [air quotes] speaking with them. He did say in 2018 he had friends that attended services at the Tree of Life. 

Regardless, this was the president telling Jewish leaders in advance of the High Holidays that he remembered [air quotes] spending time at the site of an anti-Semitic massacre, [air quotes] going to the site of the anti-Semitic massacre. And there’s just no evidence this is actually true. John and Kaitlan?

COLLINS: And we’ll see what the White House says about that today. But it also comes as President Biden’s economic agenda is in jeopardy once again after a new warning from his fellow Democrat, and pivotal voter, Joe Manchin.

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