March 29, 2022

On Jan. 27, the Republican National Committee tweeted a short clip of President Joe Biden saying, “I’m not gonna take any questions because I think it’s inappropriate.” 

The tweet doesn’t give us any additional information aside from the quote. Was Biden really refusing to talk to the press, or is there some missing context here? Here’s how we fact-checked it.

Try a reverse video search

There are a couple of different ways you can reverse image search videos. You can simply take a screenshot of the video and do a reverse Google image search, or you could check out a free Chrome extension called the fake news debunker by Invid and WeVerify. After copying over the link to the keyframes tool, it will pull still frames from the video for you to use in a reverse image search. However, both options will pull up instances where the same image exists. 

One of the results was this article from NBC News. According to NBC, this clip was from an event where President Biden was announcing the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. NBC included the full video of his remarks. Here’s what Biden actually said:

“And I’m not going to take any questions because I think it’s inappropriate to take questions with the justice here. He’s still sitting on the bench, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get me later today and for the rest of the week, and next week too.”

Based on his full statement, it’s clear why Biden said he wasn’t going to take questions. Questions from reporters at this conference would likely be centered on Biden’s new pick for the Supreme Court. At that time, the president hadn’t yet nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson. This was meant to honor Breyer’s time on the court rather than discussing his replacement. 

Try a keyword search

Doing a reverse video search can be time-consuming, so if you’re in a hurry, you could have also just done a keyword search of the quote. 

A simple keyword search brought up this fact check from PolitiFact. PolitiFact reported that the RNC deceptively edited the video, cutting the video off mid-sentence to leave out important context. 

Rating

Mostly Not Legit. While the president did say this, the video in the tweet was intentionally edited to remove the end of his sentence that clarified why he thought taking questions was inappropriate. The president didn’t say that taking questions from reporters in general was inappropriate — just in this specific instance.

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