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Biden’s Latest Tall Tale, This One About Amtrak, Just Doesn’t Add Up

Biden’s Latest Tall Tale, This One About Amtrak, Just Doesn’t Add Up

President Joe Biden is fond of telling tall tales. But his latest story just doesn’t add up.

Biden, who has famously ridden the Amtrak rails for years — all the way back to when he first joined the U.S. Senate in the early 1970s — recounted a story last week about a train conductor congratulating him for topping 1.5 million miles.“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. I think that’s an exaggeration. I’m going to rely on those two conductors … one of them was a guy named Angelo Negri,” Biden said Friday at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the national train service.

“There was an article, I guess my fourth or fifth year as vice president, saying Biden travels 1.3 million 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. 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.'”

“He said, ‘Joey, what’s the big deal? 1.3 million 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 1.5 million miles on Amtrak. The fact is, I’d probably take Angie’s word before I’d take the word of what the article said.”But the timeline of events appears to make that tale suspect, according to reports.

Biden began his fourth year as former President Barack Obama’s vice president in January 2013, but Negri’s 2004 obituary says he retired from Amtrak in 1993, when Biden was a senator. Plus, Biden’s mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, died in 2010, meaning that she was not alive in Biden’s “fourth or fifth year as vice president.”

What’s more, Biden officially hit 1 million miles on Air Force Two in 2015, a landmark celebrated by his office, Fox News reported.

“A few months ago, Vice President Joe Biden crossed the million-mile mark aboard Air Force Two – the official plane of the Vice President. … I wanted to give you a sense of what those more-than 1 million miles have looked like these past seven years,” Biden’s vice presidential photographer David Lienemann wrote in a blog post in February 2016.

Biden has told versions of the story before. In 2017, CNN interviewed Biden and wife Jill on an Amtrak train after Biden left the White House for the last time. He said that Amtrak had “calculated” that he had made 8,200 round trips totaling more than 2 million miles.

“Two hundred and fifty nine miles round trip a day, not everyday, but on average 217 days a year. This is my family and this is why I wanted to go home, the way I came,” Biden said.

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