FACT CHECK: Did Joe Biden Attend The Dignified Transfer Ceremony At Dover Air Force Base?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims “no representative” from the Biden administration attended Sunday’s dignified transfer of the 13 U.S. service members recently killed in Afghanistan.

Verdict: False

President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and other administration officials attended the dignified transfer ceremony on Sunday.

Fact Check: 

An Aug. 26 suicide bombing by the Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) killed 13 U.S. service members and over 160 Afghan civilians outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to USA Today. The bodies of the fallen U.S. service members were returned to the U.S. on Sunday, The New York Times reported.

The Aug. 28 Facebook post claims the Biden administration “had no representative, including the President, First Lady or Vice President, attend the return of 13 KIA service members back onto American soil at Dover Air Force Base.” That is, however, not accurate. (RELATED: Tweet Claims To Show ‘Live Picture’ Of The Aug. 26 Kabul Airport Attack)

Biden, his wife, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and top military officials attended the dignified transfer ceremony at the Delaware base, according to CNN. Video of Biden attending was taken by several news organizations, such as ABC News and Fox News.

Biden’s public schedule for Aug. 29, which can be found on Factba.se, includes the president and first lady attending the dignified transfer ceremony. Biden also met with families of the fallen service members before the ceremony took place, according to The Washington Post.

Multiple Twitter users, including Republican political consultant Blair Brandt, had initially tweeted on Saturday – the day before the dignified transfer took place – that Biden skipped the ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, according to CNN.

Brandt later deleted his tweet and issued a correction, saying in a Sunday tweet that he meant to say the Biden administration “HAS (not *had*) no plans for the President to attend the return of 13 KIA service members” based on a White House public schedule from the night before the transfer. He described it as a “late night typo” and “prematurely sent” tweet in another Twitter post.

Biden’s plan to visit Dover was put in place before the tweets made the claim or his attendance was announced on the White House public schedule, according to CNN. A White House official told CNN that “the base asked us not to announce out of respect” and that “this is similar to what they have done in the past.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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