President Biden told workers at an Ohio plant that he’s traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan more than 50 times in his long political career but based on previous statements made during his presidential campaign that number doesn’t seem to add up.
“I’ve been in and out of Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, I mean Iraq over 50 times, 48 times, and now what we are doing in Ukraine. Been there. Tell you what, you make a gigantic difference,” Mr. Biden told workers during a tour of United Performance Metals in Hamilton, Ohio.
Mr. Biden has traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq many times, including to visit his now-deceased son, Beau, who was serving in Iraq. But his statement more than doubled the number of trips he’s taken to those two countries, according to a 2019 campaign statement.
It’s not the first time Mr. Biden has made the dubious claim about the number of times he’s visited Iraq and Afghanistan. In his State of the Union speech, Mr. Biden said he’s “been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan over 40 times.”
In 2019, Mr. Biden told a dramatic but false story about traveling to Afghanistan to recognize the heroism of a Navy captain. While telling the story, Mr. Biden said he had been to Iraq and Afghanistan “over 30 times.”
But when the Washington Post debunked that story, his campaign clarified by telling the paper that the correct number is 21. Most of the trips occurred when Mr. Biden was serving as a U.S. senator from 1973 to 2009, the campaign said.
Since that clarification three years ago, there have been no public news reports or announcements about Mr. Biden visiting either country.
The Washington Times reached out to the White House for comment but did not hear back.
The last publicly reported trip by Mr. Biden to either country occurred in 2016. Mr. Biden, who was then vice president in the Obama administration, visited Iraq to boost the country’s military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
It was widely noted at the time that the visit was Mr. Biden’s first trip to Iraq in five years.
Mr. Biden’s last reported trip to Afghanistan happened in 2011 when he traveled there to discuss drawing down U.S. forces.