Memories That Didn't Happen? Idaho Company Can’t Corroborate Biden's 'First Job Offer' Claim
07:53 GMT 14.09.2021 (Updated: 16:09 GMT 14.09.2021)
It’s not news that US President Joe Biden, who is often described as a “gaffe machine”, can make statements that would cause headaches among fact-checkers. His own aides reportedly prefer to mute Biden’s live feeds from time to time over the anxiety it gives them.
Joe Biden loves sharing memories about his early years as a senator, but some of them often turn out to be either faulty or very hard to verify.
Speaking at Idaho’s National Interagency Fire Center roundtable on Monday in the wake of raging wildfires in the West, Biden recalled how he got his “first job offer” from the local lumber company Boise Cascade.
The president said he had regularly discussed this memory with Frank Church, a late Democratic senator from Idaho:
"I used to tell Frank Church this, I got a … my first job offer, where I wanted … my wife, deceased wife and I wanted to move to Idaho because we … not a joke … it’s such a beautiful, beautiful state. And I interviewed for a job at Boise Cascade," Biden said.
"And in the meantime, there was a [Vietnam] war going on. Anyway. But the whole point was that I used to always kid Frank," he added.
However, when the New York Post tried to corroborate the claim, Boise Cascade spokeswoman Lisa Tschampl said they just couldn’t find any records proving the job interview had actually happened.
“We have no record of President Biden’s application or of him having worked for the company,” the spokeswoman said, adding that “we checked our system internally and nothing has turned up.”
Tschampl noted that it’s still possible that Biden did actually apply to the company but the records were lost as Boise Cascade halted some of its past projects on plastics and concrete.
“I would not want to speculate about what type of role he may have applied for in 1972,” the spokeswoman clarified. “Today we are a wood products manufacturer and wholesale distributor of building materials.”
It seems that Biden hasn’t previously mentioned the company in his memoires or public records. Nor did he speak about his desire to move to Idaho with his late wife Neilia, who died in a car crash alongside their one-year-old daughter in 1972, just several weeks after he was elected to the US Senate from Delaware.
Joe Biden made a lot of claims in the past that were either disputed or dismissed straight away after careful fact-checking. As such, just in the start of September, the White House had to clarify the president’s claim made at the Jewish summit that he went to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in the wake of the deadly 2018 shooting.
“I remember spending time at the, you know, going to the, you know, the Tree of Life synagogue, speaking with them,” the president said during a virtual address to Jewish leaders.
When the Three of Life officials had struggled to recall Biden’s visit to the scene, the White House had to clarify: the president was actually referring to “a call he had with the Tree of Life rabbi in 2019.”
So it seems that the ‘spending time’ there moment simply didn’t happen.