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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Did Biden Revise History on Bin Laden?

In this week’s collaboration with FactCheck.org, Jake Tapper of CNN’s “State of the Union” discusses a new narrative Vice President Joe Biden provided recently: that he told President Obama privately in 2011 that he should go ahead with the mission that ended up killing Osama bin Laden.

No one other than Obama and Biden knows for sure what was said between them privately, but as Tapper put it, Biden’s claim was “entirely in contradiction with everything we’ve ever heard from Vice President Biden or President Obama on this subject.”

Speaking to a group of House Democrats in January 2012, Biden recounted, “I said, ‘We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.’ ” That squares with what Obama said during the third and final presidential debate with Mitt Romney in October 2012.

You can read more about this claim in our story “Biden on Bin Laden, Take 2.