President Joe Biden has been defended vigorously by major corporate news networks throughout his presidency.
But following the release of a damaging Special Counsel report on his classified documents scandal, CNN aired a brutal “fact check” of Biden’s defense for his illegal mishandling and dissemination of top secret information.
CNN’s senior reporter Daniel Dale, acting in the capacity of a “fact checker,” dismantled Biden’s defense point-by-point in a devastating takedown.
“While one thing that President Biden said is basically that he stored the documents in filing cabinets that could be locked. Let’s listen,” CNN’s John Berman said before airing a clip from President Biden’s press conference.
“All the stuff that was in my home was in filing cabinets that were either locked or able to be locked,” Biden claimed.
“Just not true,” Dale replied. “John, this report from the Special Counsel includes photos. Those photos include shots of a box just sitting in President Biden’s Delaware garage. The special counsel described it as a badly damaged box sitting amid household detritus. So there was some material that was in cabinets, locked or lockable as the president said, but all of it’s certainly not in that open unsealed damage box included, according to the special counsel, highly sensitive top secret material about the war in Afghanistan.”
“Okay, another claim that President Biden made. None of the documents were highly classified,” John Berman said. “Let’s listen.”
“None of it was high classified, didn’t have any of that red stuff on it, you know what I mean, around the corners,” Biden said. “None of that.”
“That claim that he didn’t have any material that was high classified is also not true,” Dale responded. “John, this special counsel’s report says that the president possessed multiple highly classified documents that were indeed marked as being highly classified documents, including some marked as Top Secret/SCI — sensitive compartmented information. That is a very high level of classification.”
“For example, Special Counsel Hur discussed two Top Secret documents about Afghanistan found in that open unsealed damage box in the garage, one of which Hur said contains highly sensitive info about military programs and another that contains info about sensitive intelligence and sources and methods,” he continued.
“Now it’s not clear, John, if any of those Biden documents had those colored borders we saw on classified docs that former President Trump had, which I think is what President Biden was referring to when he talked about red around the corners,” he added. “But still, whatever coloring these documents had, the special counsel says they were clearly marked as highly classified.”
“And then I should add Hur also said that investigators analysis of Biden’s own handwritten notes from his time as vice president showed that these notebooks also contained highly classified info,” he went on. “Though those were not marked and Hur set a sampling of 37 excerpts found that eight are top secret with sensitive compartmented information, seven of which include information concerning human intelligence sources, plus six others that were top secret.”
“And then the third claim that he made Daniel there was that he did not share classified information with a ghost writer on a book he was working on,” John Berman said. “Listen to that.”
“I did not share classified information,” Biden claimed. “I did not share with your ghostwriter. With my ghostwriter. Did not guarantee you did not. Counsel said he did not say that. He did not say that.”
“So he’s entitled to say he didn’t do it,” Dale said. “He can defend himself. But he also said the special counsel didn’t say that he did share that classified info with the ghostwriter. Except, John, the special counsel did say that explicitly. Hur wrote Mr. Biden shared information including some classified information from those notebooks with his ghostwriter. So there it is in black and white.”
“Now, Hur did elaborate that Biden shared classified info with the ghost writer by reading nearly verbatim from the notebooks on at least three occasions, including notes from meetings in the situation room,” Dale continued. “He did find that Biden quote at times tried to avoid sharing classified info like by skipping over certain material as he was reading them to the ghost writer and Hur did write that the evidence does not show that Biden knew the info was classified. Nonetheless, even though the special counsel did clearly give him some material to defend himself with, this is not a factual defense.”
“So he could cite the factual stuff Hur said, didn’t know it was intentional, et cetera, but declaring the special counsel just did not say what he said… is not a factual defense,” he concluded.
Follow Kyle Becker on X @kylenabecker.