Fact checkers nail Biden for whopper about awarding ‘Uncle Frank’ a Purple Heart

President Biden was bluntly called out by fact-checkers after fibbing about awarding his Uncle Frank a Purple Heart following his election as vice president, noting that was impossible since he was elected in 2008 and his uncle died in 1999.

(Video Credit: GOP War Room)

The latest lie was told during a Dec. 16 speech at Delaware Veterans Summit and the PACT Act Town Hall. The Purple Heart is the military’s highest commendation awarded strictly to service members who were wounded or killed in action.

“You know, I — my dad, when I got elected vice president, he said, ‘Joey, Uncle Frank fought in the Battle of the Bulge.’ He was not feeling very well now — not because of the Battle of the Bulge. But he said, ‘And he won the Purple Heart. And he never received it. He never — he never got it. Do you think you could help him get it? We’ll surprise him,’” Biden falsely recounted.

“So we got him the Purple Heart. He had won it in the Battle of the Bulge. And I remember he came over to the house, and I came out, and he said, ‘Present it to him, okay?’ We had the family there,” the president said, recalling something that evidently never happened.

“I said, ‘Uncle Frank, you won this. And I want to…’ He said, ‘I don’t want the damn thing.’ No, I’m serious. He said, ‘I don’t want it.’ I said, ‘What’s the matter, Uncle Frank? You earned it.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but the others died. The others died. I lived. I don’t want it,’” Biden stated.

The president’s version of the story simply cannot be true because of the timeline. Biden’s father also died in 2002, well before he became vice president, while he was still in the Senate. It isn’t known whether Uncle Frank ever really received a Purple Heart, but if he did, it most likely was not from his nephew.

The Purple Heart registry is incomplete. If Biden’s uncle did reject the award, it wouldn’t be in the record. It is possible Biden mixed up the timeline but many doubt that is the case here.

Purple Hearts can be given posthumously to the recipient’s next of kin. FactCheck.org couldn’t find evidence that Frank Biden received a Purple Heart while he was alive or after he passed. His name does not appear in two major databases of honorees: Traces of War or the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

In his speech, the president also gave inaccurate details about when his Uncle Frank enlisted in the Army. Biden claimed he joined a day after the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but records show he actually joined months before the attack, according to Snopes. The site rated Biden’s claim that he gave his uncle a Purple Heart “False.”

Biden was nailed by FactCheck.org, VERIFY, Snopes, Forbes, and The New York Post, among a number of others over the claim.


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