Old speech by President Joe Biden misrepresented, falsely linked to former President Donald Trump's indictment

By: Ishita Goel
April 6 2023

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Old speech by President Joe Biden misrepresented, falsely linked to former President Donald Trump's indictment


The Verdict False

A 2022 speech by Biden has been used to claim he is coordinating Trump's indictment to stop him from regaining power.

Claim ID 8e15b8a3


On April 4, 2023, in a Manhattan criminal court, former U.S. President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges for business records. The charges are related to the $130,000 hush money payment allegedly made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and other women before the 2016 presidential election to silence claims of an extramarital affair. Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing, surrendered after arriving in New York and was arrested and arraigned as per usual. 

Following Trump's arrest and in the run up to it, several instances of false and misleading information have gone viral on social media. In one such example, several social media users shared a clip of U.S. President Joe Biden saying he is making sure that Trump cannot become the next president again. The video has been shared to claim that Biden has admitted that he is coordinating Trump's indictment in an attempt to stop him from regaining power. Social media users also claimed that this is political agenda to stop Trump, which Biden has now admitted.

However, an old speech by Biden is being misrepresented in light of Trump's indictment.

In Fact

Using reverse image search, we traced the clip back to a video published by BBC News on November 9, 2022, with the caption "Biden chuckles at the thought of Trump running again." BBC explained in their description that Biden's response was in answer to a reporter's question on what "he would tell foreign leaders about Donald Trump's potential run." On November 10, NBC News published the complete video of the conference and wrote, "President Biden On Midterm Elections, 2024 Re-Election, And Elon Musk." The reports show Biden was speaking about the 2024 elections but after the midterm elections, not about Trump's indictment over the alleged hush money payments. 

The White House, on November 9, 2022, published the transcript of Biden's speech from the press conference. This shows that Biden made this comment while answering a reporter's question on how he would reassure world leaders that the former president would not return or that his political movement would not once again take power in the United States. To this, Biden responded, "Well, we just have to demonstrate that he will not take power by — if we — if he does run. I'm making sure he, under legitimate efforts of our Constitution, does not become the next President again."

From the above reports, we can see no reference to an indictment, and Biden made these statements in November 2022 in a conversation unrelated to the charges against Trump. In fact, news reports show that Biden has refused to comment on Trump and the case both when news broke last week of the indictment and on the day itself. The White House has also refused to comment on the ongoing case.

Various false claims and images relating to Trump and the case have been going viral, which are being debunked by fact-checking organizations.

The Verdict

Biden spoke about attempts to stop Trump from becoming the next president in a press conference held in 2022, and there is no link to Trump's indictment. He did not make an admission claiming the case against Trump was to keep him from regaining power. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before