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Fact Check-Posts misconstrue Biden’s response to reporter at press pool

A video of U.S. president Joe Biden responding to a reporter has gone viral on social media, with some users claiming he said, “My butt’s been wiped”. A slowed down version of the footage, however, shows Biden saying different words in response to a reporter’s question.

“He's getting worse folks. God help us all,” reads the description of a YouTube video that features the footage and loops the apparent quote ( here ). Other iterations can be seen here , here .

Some of the comments read, “What is wrong with this guy,” and, “This man has no class.”

The exchanged in question happened on July 25, 2021 shortly after Biden walked off the Marine One helicopter and addressed members of the press pool among the noise provoked by the vehicle.

The scene can be viewed on footage by ABC reporter Molly Nagle ( here ) and a video uploaded by The Hill on YouTube ( here ).

Around timestamp 00:38 ( youtu.be/F_jry1xtCME?t=37 ) a reporter off-camera can be heard asking: “Does immigration need to be in reconciliation? Must it be in reconciliation?”

Biden then appears to respond: “What must be what?” or “But what’s been what?” (not “my butt’s been wiped”, as posts claim).

While his complete phrase is not entirely clear, Reuters was able to confirm that Biden did not say the words that have been attributed to him on social media posts, by analyzing the video in slow motion and adjusting the playback speed to 0.25 in YouTube settings.

Around timestamp 00:43, with the slowed down playback speed, Biden can be heard saying the word “must”.

A transcript provided by factba.se here suggests Biden said “What must be what?”

Afterwards, the reporter replicated her question “Is there a pathway for citizenship?”, to what Biden answered: “Well there needs to be a pathway for citizenship. Whether it can be made part of immigration remains to be seen.” Further Reuters reporting on the subject can be found here .

White House representatives told Reuters Biden was reiterating his administration’s stance that they would like to see a pathway to citizenship happen legislatively.

VERDICT

False. Biden did not say “my butt’s been wiped” when responding a question from a reporter about immigration. A slowed down version of the footage suggests he said, “What must be what?”

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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