President Joe Biden has a history of – to put it kindly – embellishing the truth and misremembering key facts of certain stories he tells. One in particular involves his uncle Frank Biden’s military service. The forty-sixth president has now told the tale a couple times in recent years, including at a meeting with European leaders late last week.
On Monday’s show, Megyn was joined by Rich Lowry and Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review to discuss President Biden’s inaccurate storytelling and why it matters.
Biden Family Folklore
During a meet-and-greet with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen ahead of a trilateral meeting at the White House on Friday, Biden recounted a story about his “Uncle Frank” and the Purple Heart:
“And, by the way, I told you about my uncle who won the Purple Heart for the Battle of the Bulge and — my father’s younger brother.
My father came to me after I was a senator, and he said, ‘You know…’ His brother’s name was Frank. And he said, ‘You know, Uncle Frank never got his Purple Heart. Do you think you could find out about that?’ I was a senator, so I found out. And sure enough, he did.
So, I got a Purple Heart for him, and I invited him over to the house with the family to give it to him. He said, ‘I don’t want the damn thing.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘The others died. I didn’t. I don’t want it.’ And an awful lot of brave people died, as well, there.”– President Joe Biden, October 20, 2023
The only problem? No one can find any record of Uncle Frank’s Purple Heart.
During a town hall even with veterans in December 2022, the president told a similar story – albeit with a few different details. At the time, he said his father, Joe Biden, Sr., encouraged him after the 2008 election to give the Purple Heart to Frank Biden for his service during the Battle of the Bulge. He said his father told him Frank was eligible for the honor – that is reserved for service members who were wounded or killed in action – but never received it
The story made headlines last year because the dates didn’t quite add up. The president’s father died in 2002 and his uncle passed away in 1999, yet he said the conversation occurred after he became vice president in January 2009.
The former Delaware senator changed his tune on Friday when he claimed the talk happened while he was in the Senate (which he served in from 1973 to 2009), but reporting from various outlets has still found no record of Biden awarding his uncle the honor nor does Frank Biden’s name appear on a list of recipients held by the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor or Traces of War.
Why It Matters
At almost 81 year old, Biden is the oldest sitting president in U.S. history and there are growing concerns about his mental fitness. “It kind of is important to have somebody in there who is of sound mind,” Megyn said. “Right now, we get evidence daily that he might not be that man.”
While Cooke agreed that there “is a lot of evidence to support” that Biden is “not of sound mind,” he said that does not tell the whole story. “This is always who Joe Biden has been,” he shared. “The man is a narcissist. His worldview requires not just himself but everyone in his family and in his orbit… to be the hero of every story.”
Case in point: “We are supposed to believe, going back through the annals of history, that Bidens were always the people who stood up and said what was right or had a pithy one-liner that summed up the situation,” Cooke explained. “His dad, apparently, was big into gay rights in Scranton, PA, in the early 1950s, which – as we know – is statistically unlikely.”
As Cooke recalled, Biden was forced to drop out of the 1988 presidential race because he was found to have plagiarized on the campaign trail and in law school, in addition to greatly exaggerating his academic achievements. “This is who he is,” he said. “And if you combine this long-standing braggadocio and belief in himself that is not based in the facts with the fact that he is  and that he doesn’t seem to be fully in command, then you have what we are seeing now, which is an older person telling strangers stories that were first made up when they were a younger man.”
Ultimately, Cooke said the history cannot be discounted. “I don’t think we should underestimate the extent to which this personality trait is derived from his age,” he concluded. “It is exacerbated by his age, but it’s always been who Joe Biden is.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Cooke and Lowry by tuning in to episode 653 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.