FACT FOCUS: Biden's pause as he left a star-studded LA fundraiser becomes a target for opponents - Hindustan Times
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FACT FOCUS: Biden's pause as he left a star-studded LA fundraiser becomes a target for opponents

AP |
Jun 18, 2024 05:16 AM IST

FACT FOCUS: Biden's pause as he left a star-studded LA fundraiser becomes a target for opponents

Video from a star-studded fundraiser in Los Angeles for President Joe Biden on Saturday is circulating on social media with claims that he froze up onstage as he exited the event.

FACT FOCUS: Biden's pause as he left a star-studded LA fundraiser becomes a target for opponents
FACT FOCUS: Biden's pause as he left a star-studded LA fundraiser becomes a target for opponents

“Biden froze again last night and had to get escorted out by Obama,” reads one post on X that had received approximately 22,000 likes and 5,600 shares as of Monday. “Is this normal?”

Members of his campaign and administration say the president stopped to take in cheers and applause as he left a sit-down with former President Barack Obama and comedian Jimmy Kimmel that helped raise more than $30 million for his reelection campaign. A spokesperson for Kimmel echoed this view.

The video is the most recent in a series of clips taken at public events, some of them edited, that are being used to suggest Biden is mentally and physically unfit for office.

Here’s a closer look at the facts.

CLAIM: Biden froze onstage during his fundraiser in Los Angeles on Saturday night and had to be led away by Obama.

THE FACTS: Biden paused amid cheers and applause as he exited the stage with his predecessor following an interview moderated by late-night host Kimmel.

Former President Donald Trump shared a video on his social media platform Truth Social that showed a grainy version of Biden stopping and looking out into the audience as he departed. “Is this really who you want to be your president?” Trump asked in the post.

Separate footage from the event provided to The Associated Press by Biden campaign spokesperson James Singer shows the president waving, pointing, clapping and giving the thumbs-up to the audience alongside Obama while Kimmel waits off to the side. Biden then stands still for about seven seconds looking out at the crowd. He starts moving again when Obama briefly takes his arm and puts his hand on his back as the pair walks offstage.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates described the moment as “the President taking in an applauding crowd for a few seconds.” Singer attributed the negative characterizations as a distraction tactic from those who “are so scared of losing to Joe Biden, they’ll make anything up to distract from the fact that their candidate for president, Donald Trump, has been convicted of 34 felonies, found liable for sexual assault, committed financial fraud, and only cares about himself.”

In response to a question at a press briefing on Monday about videos that have been edited to make Biden appear frail or confused, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called such footage “cheap fakes video” that are “done in bad faith.” She added that they demonstrate “everything that we need to know about how desperate, how desperate Republicans are here.”

A source who helped organize, and attended, the fundraiser told the that there was nothing noteworthy about this moment and that Obama wanted to be “chummy” by walking offstage with Biden.

Lewis Kay, a spokesperson for Kimmel, called the claims spreading online “nonsense.”

“Attendees in the front were shouting at him, and President Biden was trying to hear them,” he wrote in an email to the . “It’s as simple as that.”

The fundraiser took in a record $30 million-plus, according to Biden’s campaign. George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand were among those who took the stage at the event. During their interview with Kimmel, Biden and Obama both stressed the need to defeat Trump in a race that’s expected to be exceedingly close.

This is part of the ’s effort to address widely shared false and misleading information that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at .

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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