President Biden told workers at an Ohio factory that he had visited Iraq and Afghanistan more than 50 times during his long political career, but based on previous statements made during his presidential campaign, that number doesn’t seem to match.
“I’ve been to Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, I mean Iraq more than 50 times, 48 times, and now what we’re doing in Ukraine. Was there. Tell you what, you make a huge difference,” Biden told workers during a United Performance Metals tour in Hamilton, Ohio.
Mr. Biden has traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq several times, including to visit his late son Beau, who was serving in Iraq. But his statement more than doubled the number of trips he made to those two countries, according to a 2019 campaign statement.
This is not the first time Mr Biden has made the dubious claim of the number of times he has visited Iraq and Afghanistan. In his State of the Union address, Mr Biden said he had “been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan more than 40 times”.
In 2019, Mr. Biden told a dramatic but false story about a trip to Afghanistan to recognize the heroism of a Navy captain. While telling the story, Mr Biden said he had been to Iraq and Afghanistan “more than 30 times”.
But when the Washington Post debunked that story, his campaign clarified by telling the paper the correct number is 21. Most of the trips took place when Mr. Biden was a U.S. senator from 1973 to 2009, the campaign said.
Since that clarification three years ago, there have been no public reports or announcements regarding Mr. Biden’s visit to either country.
The Washington Times contacted the White House for comment, but did not hear back.
Mr. Biden’s last publicly disclosed trip to either country was in 2016. Mr. Biden, who was then Vice President in the Obama administration, visited Iraq to bolster the campaign country’s military against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
It was widely noted at the time that the visit was Mr Biden’s first trip to Iraq in five years.
Mr Biden’s last reported trip to Afghanistan was in 2011 when he visited there to discuss the withdrawal of US forces.