Fact Check: Joe Biden Was Not 'Caught' Saying The N-Word In 1985 In A 'Leaked' Video

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Joe Biden Was Not 'Caught' Saying The N-Word In 1985 In A 'Leaked' Video Out Of Context

Was Joe Biden caught saying the "n-word" in 1985 in a leaked video? No, that's misleading. A video clip of then-Senator Joe Biden saying the n-word twice is taken out of context. The video was not "leaked," as it is publicly available on C-SPAN. The video is from a public Senate hearing where Biden was reading a document that used the word. He was not using the "n-word" himself.

The claim appeared as a post (archived here) posted on Facebook by Red Eagle Politics on May 12, 2020 under the title "LEAKED: Biden caught saying the N-Word in 1985." It opened:

"We already have a n***** mayor and we don't need anymore n***** big shots."

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Jul 2 20:15:34 2020 UTC)

The edited version of the video is only three seconds long and shows Senator Biden saying: "We already have a n***** mayor and we don't need anymore n***** big shots."

Here is the edited video on YouTube:

The unedited video is from June 5, 1985 and shows Delaware Senator Biden questioning Williams Reynolds, the nominee for associate attorney general during his confirmation hearing. The context of the hearing is questioning Reynolds' views on civil rights. The evidence Biden was reading was a confidential memo from Reynolds staff discussing a case, The Washington Post reported.The memo said white legislators allegedly used the "n-word" as they developed a redistricting plan that unfairly targeted Black people in Louisiana.

Here is the unedited version of the hearing from C-SPAN

Here is the entire five hour and 47 minute long video from the hearing from C-SPAN:

The viral video edited out where Biden uses the word "quote" to explain that he is quoting from the memo.

Biden's full sentence is: "Quote, 'We already have a n***** mayor and we don't need anymore n***** bigshots."

Reynolds' nomination was blocked after this hearing.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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