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Misleading
misleading

CLAIM ID

dc6e719b

Joe Biden opposed the operation to take down Osama bin Laden.

Joe Biden's initial reluctance to the raid has been misconstrued by Pence as Biden being opposed to the operation to take down bin Laden.

In his speech on the third night of the RNC, Vice President Mike Pence stated that Joe Biden was opposed to the operation to take down Osama.

From anecdotal evidence of other Obama administration officials and Biden's own interviews, it can be concluded that he was initially skeptical of the operation and told Obama that they needed more time. In early 2012, Biden recounted how he advised Obama during a national security strategy meeting in April 2011 to wait for further confirmation that bin Laden was actually in the compound in Pakistan before acting. Biden gave a similar account at the House Democrats' annual retreat in Cambridge, Maryland. Biden told the Democrats that he had advised the president in the April 2011 meeting not to approve the Abbottabad compound's raid immediately. This initial reluctance is what Mike Pence misconstrues as Biden being opposed to the operation.

However, even Biden's description of this event was contradicted on two occasions. In 2012 he had stated that he had advised Obama not to go with the raid before obtaining more information. He then said in 2015 that he had not uttered 'don't go.' Rather, he said, he withheld his opinion until he was alone with Obama and told him he should go for it.

In 2012, Biden added a new detail to the story. While not denying the assertion that Biden had advised Obama not to do it, he said he had an additional conversation with Obama. He said he told Obama to follow his instincts. While this account does not contradict his version from 2012 but it is incompatible with his statement from 2015. In January 2020, CNN reported that a Biden campaign official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Biden was never opposed to a raid but just thought more certainty was needed about bin Laden's presence before proceeding at that moment.

Although Biden has contradicted on how this event unfolded, none of the descriptions indicate that he opposed the raid. He was reluctant initially and wanted Obama to do a couple of more tests before launching the raid. Mike Pence implied in his speech that Biden was wholly opposed to the raid, and we conclude that this claim is misleading.

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