President Biden claimed Monday, without evidence, that he stood at Ground Zero in New York City viewing the damage from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks just one day later, despite records showing he was in Washington, D.C. that day.
“Ground Zero in New York — I remember standing there the next day and looking at the building. I felt like I was looking through the gates of Hell, it looked so devastating because the way you could — from where you could stand,” Biden said during his speech at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska marking the devastating acts of terrorism 22 years ago.
However, according to C-SPAN coverage of U.S. Senate proceedings on September 12, 2001, Biden was in Washington, D.C. and gave a speech on the floor of the Senate. Records show the Senate met in the morning, and a classified briefing was held for all senators that afternoon at 2:00 p.m. ET.
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President Joe Biden delivers remarks to service members, first responders, and their families on the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, on September 11, 2023. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
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Records also show Biden participated in a joint resolution vote condemning the terrorist attacks later that afternoon. Biden was the Democratic manager of the resolution.
According to a report by The New York Post, Biden also contradicted his own claim in his autobiography detailing his actions after the attacks. Biden said in the book that he “headed back to the Capitol” on September 12, and made no mention of visiting Ground Zero that day.
The report also noted a Gannett News Wire report from Sept. 12, 2001 stating, “Delaware Sen. Joe Biden spent Wednesday exactly where he wanted — in the U.S. Senate.”
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Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by two hijacked airliners in a terrorist attack September 11, 2001, in New York City. (Robert Giroux/Getty Images)
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment, but its response pointed to Biden’s visit to Ground Zero on September 20, 2001, and did not respond to questions pertaining to his claim he was there on September 12, 2001.
Biden’s claim comes as he faces scrutiny from families of 9/11 victims for not visiting any of the sites of the attacks on Monday, and for giving his speech marking the day in Alaska. With the move, he became the first U.S. president in 22 years to neither spend the day at an attack site nor the White House.
Biden stopped in Alaska following a trip overseas to India and Vietnam. Vice President Kamala Harris is among the elected officials attending events at the National September 11 Memorial in New York City.
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Fox News’ Taylor Penley contributed to this report.
Brandon Gillespie is an associate editor at Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_cg.