President Joe Biden’s highly selective memory struck again last week as the White House was forced to correct his claims about visiting the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the 2018 massacre that killed 11 Jewish faith members.
Biden participated in a virtual address on Thursday in advance of the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He claimed that he visited the Tree of Life synagogue after the attack. Biden said that he remembered spending time at the synagogue and “speaking with them.”
Barb Feige, Tree of Life’s Executive Director, refuted Biden’s claim and said he never visited the synagogue. She noted that Biden had not visited at any time, either as President or as a candidate or former Vice President.
The New York Post reported that the White House confirmed on Friday that Biden had never actually visited the Tree of Life synagogue and was talking instead about a “call” he had with the rabbi there in 2019.
Although Biden unequivocally and incorrectly stated that he had spent time at the synagogue, Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers did confirm that Biden called him on his cell phone in July 2019. Myers recalled that he received Biden’s phone call at Dulles Airport as he was awaiting a flight leaving Washington following his testimony before Congress about the attack.
Rabbi Myers said that he met at his synagogue with President Donald Trump after the massacre, who showed him a warm and personal side “unseen by the public.”
Biden has a longstanding reputation for making false claims or embellishing the truth in misleading ways. His first presidential campaign came to an abrupt end in 1988 amid a plagiarism scandal. That was 33 years ago, and now at age 78, his mental condition has added to the public discussion of his reliability, especially regarding his past retelling events and conversations.