President Joe Biden‘s strange anecdote about reaching 1.5 million miles on Amtrak has come under scrutiny after key inconsistencies emerged that make it impossible to have occurred as he told it.
On Friday, delivering a speech in Philadelphia commemorating the 50th anniversary of Amtrak, Biden launched into the tale of a certain conductor congratulating him on reaching the milestone as he traveled to visit his sick mother.
Biden said the incident occurred in his ‘fourth or fifth year as vice president’, or around 2014-2015, at which time the conductor he named had been retired for 20 years and his mother had passed away, inconsistencies first pointed out by Fox News.
The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the inconsistencies from DailyMail.com on Wednesday night.
On Friday, delivering a speech in Philadelphia commemorating the 50th anniversary of Amtrak, Biden launched into the tale of reaching 1.5 million miles on the service
Biden’s strange anecdote about reaching 1.5 million miles on Amtrak has come under scrutiny after key inconsistencies emerged
Biden, who served in the Senate for 36 years, famously commuted by Amtrak to Congress from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, racking up many miles on the train service.
‘When I became vice president, one of the Capitol Hill newspapers estimated that I had taken more than 7,000 round trips on Amtrak over my career,’ he explained in his speech on Friday.
‘I think that’s an exaggeration. I’m going to rely on those two conductors … one of them was a guy named Angelo Negri,’ he continued, launching into the anecdote.
‘There was an article, I guess my fourth or fifth year as vice president, saying Biden travels 1,300,000 miles on Air Force One [Two]. I used to – the Secret Service didn’t like it – but I used to like to take the train home,’ he continued.
‘My mom was sick and I used to try to come home almost every weekend as vice president to see her. I got on the train and Angelo Negri came up and he goes, ‘Joey, baby,’ and he grabbed my cheek like he always did. I thought he was going to get shot. I’m serious. I said, ‘No, no, he’s a friend,’ Biden recalled.
‘He said, ‘Joey, what’s the big deal? 1,300,000 miles on Air Force Two? Do you know how many miles you traveled on Amtrak?’ I said, ‘No, Angie, I don’t know.’ He gave me the calculation and he said you traveled 1,500,000 miles on Amtrak. The fact is, I’d probably take Angie’s word before I’d take the word of what the article said,’ Biden said.
Biden is seen touring an Amtrak train in 2014. He recalled an incident that occurred around 2014 or 2015, but the conductor he named retired in 1993
Biden said he was visiting his sick mother, Catherine ‘Jean’ Biden, but she passed away in 2010. They are seen together on election night in 2008
A key issue with the tale is that Angelo Negri retired as an Amtrak conductor in 1993, according to his 2014 obituary. That is long before Biden was elected vice president in 2008.
As well, Biden’s mother, Catherine ‘Jean’ Biden, passed away in 2010 at the age of 92, meaning that she was not alive in Biden’s ‘fourth or fifth year as vice president’.
Further casting doubt on the account, Biden’s own office celebrated his one millionth mile on Air Force Two in 2015.
It is not the first time that Biden’s colorful anecdotes have drawn questions about their accuracy.
On the campaign trail last year, Biden told a tale about being arrested in South Africa while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison.
No contemporaneous or other supporting evidence ever emerged to support Biden’s extraordinary claim, and key figures he said were with him denied any knowledge of the events.
It led some to compare the story to the so-called ‘Mandela Effect’, a phenomenon in which a person’s vivid memory of a historical event or cultural touchstone turns out to be false.
However, surprising details of some of Biden’s most colorful anecdotes have sometimes been proven out by evidence.
His infamous tale of a teenage confrontation with Delaware gangster ‘Corn Pop’ was proven out in some of its details, after an obituary emerged for a Wilmington man with the unusual nickname.
Members of the black community in Wilmington also came forward and said that the Corn Pop confrontation had long been well known in local lore.