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White House's explanation for Biden missing 9/11 memorial backfires

The Biden White House's claim that presidents were "not still going to visit Hawaii" 22 years after the Pearl Harbor attacks may not hold up.

The White House's Monday claim about why President Biden did not commemorate 9/11 at one of the attack sites appears to be inaccurate.

Fox News' Peter Doocy reported Monday that the White House responded to his question on why Biden was in Hanoi, Vietnam, during the commemoration of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. by stating that presidents did not visit Pearl Harbor two decades after the event.

"The analogy that I was given is that, 22 years after Pearl Harbor, U.S. presidents were not still going to Hawaii," Doocy said.


This claim, however, does not appear to hold up.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library posted on their X account on Dec. 7, 2020 that the late Democratic president visited the USS Arizona in 1963, 22 years after the attack.

"Today the country marks the anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor," the presidential library's account wrote.

"In 1963, President Kennedy visited the USS Arizona Memorial and laid a wreath for those who perished in the surprise attack," the post read.

The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

Since 2001, most presidents have participated in Sept. 11 memorials in New York, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Pennsylvania — where a fourth plane went down amid the terror attacks. However, former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama each spent one anniversary commemorating the attacks from the White House, instead of visiting one of the three attack sites.

Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon that took the lives of 2,977 Americans. Biden commemorated the attacks during a stop in Alaska on his return from Asia.

Biden claimed Monday, without evidence, that he stood at Ground Zero in New York City viewing the damage from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks just one day later, despite records showing he was in Washington, D.C., that day.

"Ground Zero in New York — I remember standing there the next day and looking at the building. I felt like I was looking through the gates of Hell, it looked so devastating because the way you could — from where you could stand," Biden said during his speech at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, marking the devastating acts of terrorism 22 years ago.


However, according to C-SPAN coverage of U.S. Senate proceedings on September 12, 2001, Biden was in Washington, D.C., and gave a speech on the floor of the Senate. Records show the Senate met in the morning, and a classified briefing was held for all senators that afternoon at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Records also show Biden participated in a joint resolution vote condemning the terrorist attacks later that afternoon. Biden was the Democratic manager of the resolution.

According to a report by The New York Post, Biden also contradicted his own claim in his autobiography detailing his actions after the attacks. Biden said in the book that he "headed back to the Capitol" on September 12, and made no mention of visiting Ground Zero that day.

The report also noted a Gannett News Wire report from Sept. 12, 2001 stating, "Delaware Sen. Joe Biden spent Wednesday exactly where he wanted — in the U.S. Senate."

Fox News Digital's Brandon Gillespie contributed reporting.

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