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Biden apparently has a new favorite alternate history: His uncle was devoured by cannibals
Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Biden apparently has a new favorite alternate history: His uncle was devoured by cannibals

President Joe Biden has long had an issue disentangling fact from fiction — and when dealing with facts, the 81-year-old Democrat often gets them wrong.

This week, Biden claimed that his uncle, 2nd Lt. Ambrose J. Finnegan Jr., was eaten by cannibals. It is unclear whose story the geriatric president has appropriated on his uncle's behalf, but the U.S. government's official record does not support the story Biden has now elected to tell on at least two occasions.

Speaking to reporters a Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Avoca, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Biden said: "Ambrose Finnegan — we called him 'Uncle Bosie' — he — he was shot down. He was Army Air Corps before there was an Air Force. He flew single-engine planes, reconnaissance flights over New Guinea. He had volunteered because someone couldn't make it. He got shot down in an area where there were a lot of cannibals in New Guinea at the time."

"They never recovered his body," added Biden. "But the government went back, when I went down there, and they checked and found some parts of the plane and the like."

According to the Department of Defense's Prisoner of War/Missing In Action Accounting Agency, Biden's uncle was flying a two-engine Douglas A-20 Havoc medium bomber on May 14, 1944. Whereas the president suggested it had been shot down, the government record indicates the plane "was forced to ditch in the ocean off the north coast" for "unknown reasons."

"Three men failed to emerge from the sinking wreck and were lost in the crash," said the official record. "One crew member survived and was rescued by a passing barge. An aerial search the next day found no trace of the missing aircraft or the lost crew members."

The Associated Press reported that the U.S. government's record of missing service members "does not attribute Finnegan's death to hostile action or indicate cannibals were any factor."

At a campaign event earlier in the day, Biden addressed workers at the United Steelworkers headquarters in Scranton, Pennsylvania. During the largely mumbled speech, Biden said his uncle "got shot down in New Guinea, and they never found the body because there used to be — there are a lot of cannibals, for real, in that part of New Guinea."

In both instances, the apparent purpose of the anecdote was to segue into a slight at former President Donald Trump.

When speaking about his uncle at the airport, Biden said, "And what I was thinking about when I was standing [where Finnegan was memorialized] was when Trump refused to go up to the memorial for veterans in Paris, and he said they were a bunch of 'suckers' and 'losers.'"

This claim, too, is unsubstantiated.

Snopes indicated that there is no audio or video evidence that Trump ever said fallen soldiers were "suckers" and "losers." There is also no "documentation, such as transcripts or presidential notes" to support the allegations that Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic advanced in a September 2020 article.

In his ostensibly baseless article, Goldberg — the Democratic booster whom the New York Times indicated in 2016 had "shaped The Atlantic's recent editorial endorsing Hillary Clinton for President" —cited "people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day."

Trump said of the allegations, "I would be willing to swear on anything that I never said that about our fallen heroes. There is nobody that respects them more. No animal — nobody — what animal would say such a thing?"

John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both with Trump at the time, indicated the claims were false.

In effect, in crossing two yarns Tuesday in hopes of hurting his political rival, Biden demonstrated only his loose grasp on the truth, which appears to have slackened greatly in recent years.

In February, Biden discussed a recent chat he had with François Mitterrand. The trouble was not so much Biden's suggestion that Mitterrand was a German, but that the former French president has been dead since 1996.

The apparent ghost whisperer has also regaled supporters on multiple occasions with the tale of his impossible conversation with an Amtrak conductor named Angelo Negri, which apparently took place 20 years after the man's retirement and a year after his death.

After eulogizing Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski, who died in 2022, Biden called out to her during a speech in Washington, saying, "Representative Jackie — are you here? Where's Jackie? — I think she was going to be here."

Last year, Biden confused Ukraine and Iraq twice in 24 hours. Neither nation likely took it to heart, granted the apparent leader of the free world has also confused his own sister with his wife.

Although it was treated as a simple case of brazen plagiarism at the time, Biden also mistook the life story of former U.K. Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock when running for president in 1988.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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