Fact Check: Kamala Harris Did NOT Say, 'You Will Do Whatever The Chinese Tell You' To Joe Biden During Debate

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Kamala Harris Did NOT Say, 'You Will Do Whatever The Chinese Tell You' To Joe Biden During Debate She Didn't Say

During a debate, did Kamala Harris say to Joe Biden, "You will do whatever the Chinese tell you! They gave your son over a billion dollars"? No, that's not true: Kamala Harris never said this to Joe Biden during a debate.

The claim seems to have first surfaced on Twitter in late January 2021 and on Facebook in April 2021. One example is a Facebook post (archived here) published on April 27, 2021 with the caption, "Uh oh." It opened:

Anyone Remember Kamala telling Joe during the Debate: "You will do whatever the Chinese tell you! They gave your son over a billion dollars."

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on April 29, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Apr 29 13:30:04 2021 UTC)

Vice President Harris never said this. The quote materialized on Twitter in late January 2021, over a year after she ended her presidential campaign.

The meme's image is from the second night of the first Democratic debate, on June 27, 2019, in Miami. It is a composite of two photos. Biden and Harris were on the same stage, but Bernie Sanders was standing between them. During that debate Harris confronted Biden on the subject of race and busing. The transcript of that specific exchange can be read or viewed in this NBCNews video, which is cued to play at the 57 minute 42 second mark when Harris begins to speak. The full transcript of that night's debate is here.

Lead Stories searched the transcript for the words China, Chinese and billion. Although several of the candidates used these words, Harris never said them.

There were a total of 11 Democratic presidential debates between June 2019 and March 2020. Harris took part in the first five. In both Miami and Detroit, Harris took the stage on the second night of debating. Lead Stories reviewed the transcripts of each of those five debates and did not find any statements by Harris that match the meme's claim.

On August 13, 2020, Foxnews.com published an article, "All the times Kamala Harris criticized Joe Biden during the Democratic primary" This lists five times Harris was critical of Biden on the debate stage, none mentioning China or Biden's son.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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