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Biden pushes back against reports that he told an inaccurate war story



Former Vice President Joe Biden is pushing back against a Washington Post report alleging that he’s been telling a dramatic war story on the campaign trail that is almost entirely incorrect.

“I don’t understand what they’re talking about, but the central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said,” Biden told a Charleston Post and Courier reporter on Thursday.

The tale in question is a heart-wrenching story, in which Biden said he traveled as Vice President to Afghanistan’s Konar province to honor a Navy captain who rappelled down a 60-foot ravine under fire and carried out the body of a fallen American soldier.

Biden told the story at a recent New Hampshire campaign event, and recalled trying to pin a Silver Star on the captain. He said the officer responded: “Sir, I don’t want the damn thing” and “Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died.”

According to The Washington Post, however, nearly every detail was inaccurate — including the time, place, award, and recipient.

Instead, Biden’s story appeared to cobble together elements of multiple separate events, The Post reported, citing more than a dozen US troops, their commanders, and Biden campaign officials.

Read more: Joe Biden has been telling a fake war story on the campaign trail for years

In fact, Biden visited Konar province in 2008, when he was still a senator and not Vice President. The man who actually performed the heroic act in question was a young Army specialist, not a captain, called Kyle J White. And Kyle J White never had a Silver Star or any other decoration pinned on him by Biden.

“At a White House ceremony six years after Biden’s visit, White stood at attention as President Barack Obama placed a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, around his neck,” reported the Post.

But Biden did pin a medal on one soldier who didn’t believe he deserved the award, according to the Post. That was Army Staff Sgt. Chad Workman in 2011 — four years after the events that Biden claims took place.

On Thursday, Biden said he hadn’t read the Post’s report calling his account into question.

“He refused the medal. I put it on him, he said, ‘Don’t do that to me, sir. He died. He died,'” he told The Post and Courier.

He denied “that there’s anything I said about that that wasn’t the essence of the story. The story was that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save – and risked his life saving – died.

“That’s the beginning, middle and end. The rest of you guys can take it and do what you want with it.”

Later on Thursday, Biden told The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart: “I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we’ve lost. I don’t know what the problem is. What is it that I said wrong?”

Biden has a long history of gaffes, which are likely to be one of his main vulnerabilities as he campaigns for the Democratic nomination to take on Trump for the presidency in 2020.

Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany, and Trump media ally Sean Hannity of Fox News, seized on the error by Biden.

But Obama’s campaign chief, David Axelrod, defended Biden — claiming that the incident shows Biden’s empathy.

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