Former Vice President Joe Biden is downplaying the inaccuracies he has repeatedly told in a story about an American military service member during the war in Afghanistan, saying the “details are irrelevant” after being called out by a newspaper last week.
“That has nothing to do with judgment of whether or not you send troops to war, the judgment of whether you bring someone home, the judgment of whether you decide on a health care policy," Biden said in comments aired Tuesday by the NPR Politics Podcast and Iowa Public Radio. “The details are irrelevant in terms of decision-making.”
While speaking to crowds, in the past few weeks Biden has told a story about a Navy captain in Afghanistan. According to Biden, that captain rappelled down a ravine under enemy fire to recover a fallen soldier’s body and later refused a Silver Star from Biden, telling him, “Do not pin it on me, Sir! Please, Sir. Do not do that! He died. He died!"
But according to a Washington Post piece last week, the story as told by Biden never happened. The Democratic presidential candidate, the paper determined, seemed to have combined elements of various stories into one.
The Post interviewed U.S. troops, commanders and Biden campaign officials in determining what events may have inspired the story.