–8 votes
in General Factchecking by Novice (570 points)
Fox shows a video from Biden addressing a crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada where he says he met with French President Mitterland. However, Mitterland has been dead since 1996. While the video that fox news produced did indeed show that he said Mitterland, the transcript from the event implied that he intended to say Macron. Macron is currently the French President. There are multiple places within the transcript where it corrects some of the statements made by Biden.

by Apprentice (1.1k points)
It appears that the statement is true. The origin of the claim stems from a speech that President Biden gave at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada. When referring to the French President, President Biden said Mitterand, the former President of France, instead of Macron, the current president. It is also true that President Mitterand died in 1996. The first and most credible source is the White House’s record, and it is shown in their official transcript that Mitterand was crossed out, and Macron was written in brackets. Fox News is not necessarily the best source for political news as it is known to be a conservative news outlet, but many other news organizations covered this as well, such as The Hill, Sky News Australia, and Daily Mail.
by Novice (530 points)
From your analysis, it appears that the claim is true, but it is also misleading since Biden said Macron earlier in the speech, which is an important distinction you made.

6 Answers

+5 votes
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
selected by
Best answer

At a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada, President Biden mentioned that he met with all of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for a G7 meeting. The Group of Seven (G7) is a political and economic forum that includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

During his campaign speech, Biden says that Mitterrand from France spoke to him. The former President of France, François Mitterrand, was in office from May 1981 to May 1995. Mitterrand also passed away in January of 1996. Being that former President Mitterrand has been dead for the last 28 years, it is not possible that President Biden spoke to him.

The official White House website released a transcript of President Biden's campaign event. In this transcript, where Biden mentions Mitterrand, it is crossed out and replaced with Macron. "And Mitterrand [Macron], from Germany — I mean, from France looked at me and said." Emmanuel Macron is the current President of France.

With the fact that he initially said Mitterrand was from Germany, it seems as though Biden accidentally said Mitterrand's name.

by Novice (950 points)
Really appreciate this fact check, and the use of an official source including transcripts.
by Journeyman (2.2k points)
This is a very thorough and well-researched fact check. I think including the White House’s transcript of the event shows that it was simply a mistake made by President Biden and nothing more than that. It’s an unfortunate error but we all make errors sometimes. Since President Biden is in the spotlight as a public figure, he is often more scrutinized.
by Novice (950 points)
Using the official transcript from the speech is very helpful for fact checking this. It seems hard to deny that this was a mistake by the president, but likely one without any deep significance or meaning.
by Genius (36.2k points)
How would you rate the actual claim? True? False? It's not clear based on your fact-check. Also, you didn't select a rating -- please do so going forward.
+1 vote
by Apprentice (1.0k points)
Though it is true that President Biden claimed he recently met former French President Mitterland. But this cannot be true since Mitterland did pass away in 1996. So clearly one alive cannot meet someone else that has been dead for many years now.


The current President of France is Emmanuel Macron as of 2017. Biden did just meet the current President of France in 2022 in a meeting.


I think it is possibly for Biden to have mixed up the two presidents and just made a simple mistake.


So this was just a simple mistake and could be cleared up easily. But still this kind of claim could come of as a little misleading.
+1 vote
by Novice (810 points)

After viewing both of the sources shown below the claim, I know that this is false. It's very obvious that nobody even the president can't meet with someone that has been dead for more than two decades. I did notice that on the source from the White House (the actual transcript of the speech) they have done some editing to what the President has said. They edited Mitterand to Macron who is the current President of France. 

It's clear that with this edit made to the transcript that President Biden happened to mix up Mitterand and Macron. According to a couple outside reliable sources you can also see they believe the same thing; that Biden mixed up their names. 

With these sources backing up what is implied as well as the editing made to the transcript it's very obvious that the President meant no harm or offense by talking of a past ruler that is now deceased. It was a plain and simple mistake. 

Biden appears to mix up Macron with French president Mitterrand, who died in 1996 (msn.com) 

Sacre bleu: Biden mixes up French leader Macron with Mitterrand, who has been dead for 28 years - Washington Examiner

+1 vote
by Novice (840 points)
The claim made by Fox News is not completely false, but it is misleading and removes necessary context. A video of the speech matches what is written in the transcription provided above. Although Biden technically does refer to the French leader as the deceased Mitterland incorrectly, he is obviously referring to the current leader. He says he attended a G7 meeting with other world leaders after his election and also refers to the Chancellor of Germany. It appears only to be a simple mistake, but due to the lack of context, the claim suddenly appears to be much more outrageous.


Exaggerated/ Misleading
+1 vote
by Apprentice (1.3k points)

The statement is true but slightly misleading. According to The Hill, President Biden made the mistake of confusing French President Emmanuel Macron with François Mitterrand the former president who past in 1996. 


+1 vote
by Apprentice (1.0k points)

This is a true reporting, but the context that it is placed in is intentionally misleading. Biden did, in fact, say that he had met with the former President of France, François Mitterland, but the official transcript of this speech (performed in Las Vegas in reference to past actions Biden had taken, i.e. meeting with many world leaders) from the White House shows that he was meant to say Macron, the surname of the current President of France. 

Fox News is a conservative news outlet that is widely known to post things which are either misleading or false about President Joe Biden in order to make him appear foolish or incorrect, which is surely the intent of this tweet. 

Transcript from the White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2024/02/04/remarks-by-president-biden-at-a-campaign-event-las-vegas-nv/

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