President Joe Biden repeated the infamous “very fine people hoax” on Thursday evening in Brussels, Belgium, falsely claiming that his predecessor praised neo-Nazis who rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

The president was speaking at a press conference to close the NATO summit on Ukraine. A European reporter asked the president how he could be sure that his successor in 2024 would not undo his diplomatic approach to NATO. (President Trump irked European powers by demanding that they live up to their NATO commitment of spending at least 2% of gross domestic product on defense. Germany belatedly agreed, finally, to meet its commitment only after Russia had invaded Ukraine.)

Biden, claiming that he did not think about his foreign policy decisions in purely electoral terms, referred to the familiar original story that he has told since 2019 when claiming that Charlottesville motivated him to come out of retirement and run for president.

I made the commitment, when I ran this time, I wasn’t going to run again, and I mean that sincerely, I had no intention of running for president again, until I saw those folks coming out of the fields in Virginia carrying torches and carrying Nazi banners, and literally singing the same vile rhyme they used in Germany in the early twenties, or thirties I should say, and then the gentleman you mentioned [Trump] was asked what he thought and a young woman was killed, a protester, and he was asked what he thought, he said there were “very good people”‘ on both sides. And that’s when I decided I wasn’t going to be quiet any longer.

For nearly two years, Biden stood by the hoax, even when presented personally and directly with evidence that it was false:

As Breitbart News and others, notably cartoonist Scott Adams and political commentator Steve Cortes, have demonstrated for years, President Trump said he condemned the neo-Nazis “totally.“ When Trump used the term “very fine people,“ he was referring explicitly to peaceful protesters on either side of a dispute about the removal of a local confederate statue.

The transcript of Trump’s remarks is clear: he said that when he referred to “very fine people,” he was talking about peaceful protesters, and “not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.”

Trump also specifically condemned the murder of protester Heather Heyer, saying it was potentially “terrorism.”

The Charlottesville “very fine people hoax” was shattered in full public view last year when former President Trump’s defense lawyers exposed it as a fraud during Trump’s second impeachment trial.

Since then, Biden has tended to avoid the hoax, merely citing Charlottesville as a motivation, without mentioning Trump.

In Europe on Thursday, however, Biden broke with the convention of leaving politics at the water’s edge and spread anew the false claim that his Republican predecessor supported violent neo-Nazis.

Biden also falsely claimed that police officers were killed in the capital riot last January.

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