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Biden Claim He Was Arrested in South Africa is Almost Certainly False

Another Joe Biden presidential campaign trail fantasy, apparently.

According to the New York Times:

In at least three campaign appearances over the past two weeks, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has told a similar story as he tries to revive his campaign in states with more diverse voters. On a trip to South Africa years ago, he has said, he was arrested as he sought to visit Nelson Mandela in prison.

“This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid,” Mr. Biden said at a campaign event in South Carolina last week. “I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robbens Island.”

Mr. Biden referred to his own arrest twice more in the next seven days, including at a campaign stop here on Tuesday where he spoke of getting arrested in South Africa between efforts to coax his wife to marry him. That proposal occurred in 1977, both Bidens have said.

But if Mr. Biden, then a United States senator from Delaware, was in fact arrested while trying to visit Mr. Mandela, he did not mention it in his 2007 memoir when writing about a 1970s trip to South Africa, and he has not spoken of it prominently on the 2020 campaign trail. A check of available news accounts by The New York Times turned up no references to an arrest. South African arrest records are not readily available in the United States.

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Andrew Young, a former congressman and mayor of Atlanta who was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1977 to 1979, said that he had traveled with Mr. Biden over the years, including to South Africa. But Mr. Young said that he had never been arrested in South Africa and expressed skepticism that members of Congress would have faced arrest there.

“No, I was never arrested and I don’t think he was, either,” Mr. Young, now 87, said in a telephone interview.

4 thoughts on “Biden Claim He Was Arrested in South Africa is Almost Certainly False”

  1. Well, ahem, I can testify that the story is true because I was there, too. As a CIA undercover asset disguised as a taxi driver, I witnessed the whole thing. ahem.
    (not really, but, hey, why not)

  2. Oh my. And the media thinks Donald Trump exaggerates. And now Bloomberg is bowing to pressure about NDA’s signed. If in fact they are years ago why does’t he say that time has taught us its inappropriate to tell off color jokes or gender offensive statements and i recognized that and changed. In the 70’s and 80’s and even the 90’s lots of inappropriate behavior was given a pass. Most of us have grown up and conduct ourselves in a more mature manner.

    1. Excellent. Bloomberg doesn’t have that moral compass so he can’t think like that….. The Putins of the world will eat him alive… this sounds like something that Trudeau would apologize for too….

  3. This is yet another example of how Biden has lost the distinction between fact and fiction. (Hillary has the same psychological quirk–getting shot at in Bosnia, etc.) Biden creates these stories of “heroism” to compensate for his downward spiral in the current election period. It’s a “How can you not vote for me because I am so amazing” ploy. All it does is turn people away from him.

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