Washington Post fact-checker calls asking about Biden visiting the border ‘a bit of a gotcha question’

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler seemed to dismiss the ongoing inquires of whether or not President Biden has gone to the southern border and if he has any intention of visiting in the future. 

Biden raised eyebrows on Thursday at CNN’s town hall when he was asked by an attendee why he hadn’t been to the southern border as president. 

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He responded by saying he had “been there before” but admitted “I guess I should go down” before pointing to his busy schedule that has prevented the visit and touting a trip to the border made by First Lady Jill Biden. 

President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theater, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theater, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Friday, Kessler issued a “fact-check” looking into his claim and discovered Biden had “briefly drove past the border” while on the campaign trail in 2008. 

“On Oct. 17, he held a rally in Mesilla, N.M. The press officer on the trip, David E. Wade, told The Fact Checker that the plane landed at the El Paso airport and then the motorcade took the nearly one-hour drive to the suburb of Las Cruces,” Kessler wrote. “The drive took Biden along a route that for a few minutes hugs the border of the United States and Mexico. ‘For most of us, it was unfamiliar territory,’ Wade said, who recalled that some reporters joked about crossing the border during the event.”

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Despite the record-shattering surge of migrants at the border, Kessler suggested pressing Biden on his past and future visits to the border is trivial. 

“Whether the president has ever visited the border — or will — is a bit of a gotcha question,” Kessler wrote. “Given the level of briefings a president receives, a visit may not necessarily add to his body of knowledge. The Biden White House has certainly taken pains to not suggest the border surge is a crisis — which a presidential visit would suggest.”

CNN’s heavily publicized town hall with President Biden failed to resonate with viewers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

CNN’s heavily publicized town hall with President Biden failed to resonate with viewers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Regarding the Post’s “Pinocchio Test,” Kessler withheld giving Biden’s claim an official rating, acknowledging Biden’s visit was a “brief drive-by” that’s comparable to “counting a refueling stop as a visit to a country.”

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to have alluded to Kessler’s reporting at Friday’s press briefing, telling Fox News’ Peter Doocy, “There’s been reporting that he did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008.”

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