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Biden repeats long-debunked claim he ‘traveled 17,000 miles’ with Xi Jinping

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Biden repeats long-debunked claim he ‘traveled 17,000 miles’ with Xi Jinping

President Biden repeated a long-debunked claim while addressing Ireland’s parliament Thursday, boasting that he “traveled 17,000 miles” with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“I met more with Xi Jinping than any world leader has over the last 10 years – 91 hours of just one-on-one conversations, 68 in person, I traveled 17,000 miles with him through Asia, primarily, and through China,” the president said. 

“He once asked me on the Tibetan Plateau, he said, ‘Can you define America for me?’ It’s the God’s truth. I said, ‘Yes, I can, in one word,” he added. “Possibilities.”

Biden previously made the “17,000 miles” the claim in November, prompting Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler to give the president a “bottomless Pinocchio” rating, meaning he had said it over 20 times during his presidency up to that point.

U.S. President Joe Biden, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia. 

U.S. President Joe Biden, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Kessler previously fact-checked Biden’s claim in February 2021, calling it “bogus,” saying he could only confirm one instance in which Biden and Xi appeared to have traveled together when they visited Qingchengshan High School in Dujiangyan when he was vice president in August 2011.

“This was a reference to the total travel back and forth — both internally in the U.S. and China, and as well as internationally — for meetings they held together,” a White House official explained at the time. “Some travel was in parallel, some was separately to joint destinations.”

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. (AP/Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden addresses the Houses of the Oireachtas at Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 2023.

US President Joe Biden addresses the Houses of the Oireachtas at Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 2023. ((Photo by Kenny HOLSTON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KENNY HOLSTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images))

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Even so, the miles only add up to 5,600 at the most, Kessler reported, 

The Bottomless Pinocchio rating, which was previously reserved only for former President Donald Trump, is designated for “false or misleading statements repeated so often that they became a form of propaganda,” Kessler reported.

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