Former vice preisdent Joe Biden relied on the discredited Charlottesville hoax — also known as the “very fine people” hoax — in blaming President Donald Trump in a speech in Iowa on Wednesday for recent mass shootings.
When [Trump] said, after Charlottesville, there were, and I quote, ‘very fine people on both sides,’ I said then it gave license and safe harbor to white supremacists and neo-Nazis and to the Ku Klux Klan. These words not only stunned American, but they stunned the world. And in doing so, he assigned a moral equivalence between those spewing hate and those with the courage to stand against it.
“Charlottesville was no isolated incident,” Biden declared, going on to present a laundry list of similarly distorted examples that he claimed was evidence of Trump stoking violent extremism.
After the Charlottesville riots in August 2017, Trump explicitly condemned white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan. In a televised statement from the White House, he said: “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
The following day, in a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, the president used the phrase “very fine people” to refer to non-violent protesters against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a public park. He added: “[A]nd I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.” In his description of “very fine people,” Trump included non-violent left-wing protesters — some of the same people Biden hailed in his speech, though Biden ignored the Antifa activists who used violence.
Here’s a fun challenge for believers in the debunked #finepeoplehoax. Ask a believer to read OUT LOUD the second part of President Trump’s statement “condemning totally” the neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Believers in the hoax literally won’t be able to speak it. Try it! pic.twitter.com/gnkzxfUdxf
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) April 30, 2019
The mainstream media have circulated the Charlottesville “very fine people” hoax, usually by omitting Trump’s full remarks. The hoax has become the most important piece of evidence in the left’s case that Trump is in fact a racist — though it is false. Biden has relied on the Charlottesville hoax since the first moments of his presidential campaign.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.