FACT CHECK: Joe Biden Claims Robert Hur Brought Up His Son’s Death

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

President Joe Biden claimed Feb. 8 that special counsel Robert Hur brought up his son’s death during their interview.

Verdict: False

The transcript shows Biden brought up his son’s death.

Fact Check:

Hur, appointed as special counsel to look into Biden’s handling of classified documents, appeared before the House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee on March 12 to testify about his report, according to the New York Times. Hur’s report recommended no charges for the president and stated that Biden would present himself to juries “as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” the outlet reported.

Biden conducted a Feb. 8 press conference where he said that Hur asked about his son’s death. Hur claimed in his report that Biden “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”

He said,”There’s even a reference that I don’t remember when my son died. How in the hell dare he raise that. Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damn business.” (RELATED: Fact Checking Biden’s Recent Claims About Wage Growth, Inflation)

This claim is false. Check Your Fact reviewed the transcript and found that Biden brought up his son’s death, not Hur. Beau Biden died on May 30, 2015 from brain cancer, while Joe Biden was vice president, according to the Associated Press.

From the transcript (Emphasis added by Check Your Fact):

MR. HUR: So during this time when you were living at Chain Bridge Road and there were documents relating to the Biden Penn Center, or the Biden Institute, or the Cancer Moonshot, or your book, where did you keep papers that related to those things you were actively working on?

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, um … I, I, I, I, I don’t know. This is, what, 2017, 2018, that area?

MR. HUR: Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Remember, in this time frame, my son is — either been deployed or is dying, and, and so it was — and by the way, there were still a lot of people at the time when I got out of the Senate that were encouraging me to run in this period, except the president. I’m not — and not a mean thing to say. He just thought that she had a better shot of winning the presidency than I did. And so I hadn’t, I hadn’t, at this point — even though I’m at Penn, I hadn’t walked away from the idea that I may run for office again. But if I ran again, I’d be running for president. And, and so what was happening, though — what month did Beau die? Oh, God, May 30 —

MS. COTTON: 2015.


PRESIDENT BIDEN: Was it 2015 he had died?



MR. BAUER: Or — I’m not sure of the month, sir, but I think that was the year.

MR. KRICKBAUM: That’s right, Mr. President. It —

PRESIDENT BIDEN: And what’s happened in the meantime is that as — and Trump gets elected in November of 2017?



PRESIDENT BIDEN: ’16, 2016. All right. So — why do I have 2017 here?

MR. SISKEL: That’s when you left office, January of 2017.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Yeah, OK. But that’s when Trump gets sworn in, January.

MR. SISKEL: Right.

MR. BAUER: Right, correct.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Okay, yeah. And in 2017, Beau had passed

The transcript clearly shows that Biden brought up when his son died, despite his assertion on Feb. 8 that Hur asked a question about it. The transcript also shows that the president recalled the date of when his son died, but did not immediately identify the year (it was identified by a White House lawyer) and then asked if it was 2015 when Biden died.

The president also said “in 2017, Beau had passed” after he was reminded that his son had died in 2015.  Hur claimed that Biden “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.”

The transcript shows how Beau Biden encouraged his father to remain in public life, which is the basis for Joe Biden’s book “Promise Me, Dad,” according to the Associated Press.

Check Your Fact reached out to the White House for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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