Fake News: Joe Biden Did NOT Call Trump Supporters the 'Dregs Of Society'

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fake News: Joe Biden Did NOT Call Trump Supporters the 'Dregs Of Society'

Did Joe Biden call Trump supporters the "dregs of society"? No, that's not true: The former vice president referred to "forces of intolerance" who "remain determined to undermine and roll back the progress" as the "dregs of society" in a speech to the annual Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington, D.C., in September 2018. But Biden said they were "a small percentage of the American people," and he said nothing to indicate he was talking about a large block of Donald Trump supporters. The idea that Biden, who had not yet launched his 2020 presidential campaign, was insulting everyone who voted for Trump was promoted by Trump's eldest son in a tweet.

The story originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by LifeNews.com on September 17, 2018 under the title "Joe Biden Calls Trump Supporters the 'Dregs of Society'". It opened:

Reminiscent of Hillary Clinton's infamous comment that Trump supporters were a "basket of deplorables," pro-abortion former Vice President Joe Biden made another negative reference to backers of President Donald Trump.

It's increasingly becoming the case that abortion activists are unable to provide a counter to President Trump and his supporters without engaging in hateful name-calling or violence.

This is what social media users saw:

Biden was specificially addressing hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and their opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights when he said:

They're a small percentage of the American people, virulent people. Some of them, the dregs of society.

Watch the speech here. It is cued up tp the relevant section:

Donald Trump Jr. used his Twitter account to suggest Biden was expressing disdain for all Trump supporters:

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes lifenews.com as:

A website that covers abortion legislation and politics in the U.S. and internationally with a strong anti-abortion slant. It is upfront about its perspective, but has reported unsubstantiated health claims and does not always correct errors.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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