Snopes’ debunking of Charlottesville hoax shows Biden lied, says Trump campaign

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Snopes’ debunking of Charlottesville hoax shows Biden lied, says Trump campaign

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The Trump campaign says a recent fact-check report debunking the claim that then-President Trump spoke favorably of neo-Nazis in 2017 shows President Biden and his campaign had promoted a “lie” and called on them to not promote the “hoax” again.

Left-leaning fact-checking website Snopes published a piece Saturday debunking claims promoted by President Biden and some members of the media that following the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Trump called neo-Nazis “very fine people.” Biden has repeatedly cited the false claim, even saying it was the impetus for his 2020 White House run against Trump. 

Trump campaign national press secretary Karoline Leavitt told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the Snopes fact check shows Biden and other “corrupt Democrats” promoted a “lie” and “hoax.” 

“The Charlottesville lie was another hoax perpetuated by the corrupt Democrats and their mouthpieces in the fake news media, just like the Hunter Biden laptop, the Russian collusion scandal and so many others, all in an attempt to smear President Trump. Joe Biden’s campaign must end any advertising that pushes this lie because President Trump has, once again, been proven right,” she said. 

LEFT-WING FACT-CHECKER ADMITS TRUMP NEVER CALLED CHARLOTTESVILLE NEO-NAZIS ‘VERY FINE PEOPLE’ IN BLOW TO BIDEN

Former President Trump told Columbia Journalism Review he had to fight off “unbelievably fake stories” during his presidency. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik/File)

Snopes detailed in its fact check that Trump was clear he was not calling neo-Nazis “fine people” when he made the comment at a press conference that year.

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“While Trump did say that there were ‘very fine people on both sides,’ he also specifically noted that he was not talking about neo-Nazis and White supremacists and said they should be ‘condemned totally.’ Therefore, we have rated this claim ‘False,'” Snopes wrote.

The fact check, which comes just days ahead of the first debate between Trump and Biden, now aligns with Trump’s longstanding argument that the remarks were taken out of context before they quickly spread on social media and were promoted by the left and members of the media. 

President Joe Biden

President Biden (Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The protests in Charlottesville in 2017, which played out across two days in August 2017, included White nationalists descending on the city who were met by hundreds of counterprotesters. The protests devolved into violence, including three deaths and dozens of injuries stemming from a car plowing through people and other attacks.

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Unite the Right rally clashes

Protesters are shown during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, 2017. (Evelyn Hockstein/For the Washington Post via Getty Images)

The protests were condemned by both Republicans and Democrats as a hateful display of bigotry, including Trump at the time, who said in a statement that such protests and violence have “no place in America.” 

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“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said in August that year. Trump added days later in a press conference that he condemned the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” and came under fire from Democrats for his remarks that there was “blame on both sides” and “very fine people, on both sides.”

Biden cast the events in Charlottesville, and his framing of former President Trump’s response, as the incentive to run for the White House in 2020.

Split image of former President Trump and President Biden

Former President Trump and President Biden (Getty Images)

“With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it,” Biden said in 2019 when announcing his candidacy.

Biden has repeatedly pointed to Charlottesville as a moment of shame for the nation, including on the fourth anniversary, when the White House released a statement saying the rally was a “battle for the soul of America was laid bare for all to see.” 

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Earlier this year, Biden was slammed for having his own “Charlottesville moment” as anti-Israel protests spread on college campuses nationwide in the wake of Hamas’ attack on the nation in October, sparking an ongoing war.

“I condemn the antisemitic protests. That’s why I have set up a program to deal with that. I also condemn those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians,” Biden told reporters in April as the protests raged.

Critics of the president soon sounded off on social media that Biden’s comments echoed claims of what Trump said in 2017 about the Charlottesville riots.

Student protesters gather in protest inside their encampment on the Columbia University campus

Student protesters gather at their encampment on the Columbia University campus, April 29, 2024, in New York City. (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

“This sure sounds like he’s ACTUALLY saying there are very fine people on both sides,” OutKick founder Clay Travis said.

The Federalist’s editor-in-chief, Mollie Hemingway, wrote, “President Biden says there are good people on both sides of October 7.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to the Biden campaign for comment on the Snopes fact check and the Trump campaign’s response but did not immediately receive a response.

Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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