FACT CHECK: Joe Biden Falsely Claims Special Counsel Said He Did Not Share Classified Information

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

President Joe Biden claimed Feb. 8 that special counsel Robert Hur’s report did not find that he shared classified information.

Verdict: False

Hur did find that Biden shared classified information with his ghostwriter.

Fact Check:

Attorney General Merrick Garland released Hur’s report on Biden’s handling of classified documents, which declined to seek charges against the president, but found that he had memory problems and had retained classified information, according to The New York Times.

Biden spoke at the White House to respond to Hur’s report. There, he claimed that he did not share classified information.

“I did not share classified information. I did not share with my ghostwriter, I did not. I guarantee I did not,” Biden said. When the reporter said that the special counsel found that he did, Biden pushed back, saying, “No, they did not say that. He did not say that!”

This claim is false. Hur’s report “uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”

The report states:

“We also considered whether Mr. Biden willfully disclosed national defense information to his ghostwriter by reading aloud certain classified notebook passages to the ghostwriter nearly verbatim on at least three occasions. Mr. Biden should have  known that by reading his unfiltered notes about classified meetings in the Situation Room, he risked sharing classified information with his ghostwriter. But the evidence does not show that when Mr. Biden shared the specific passages with his ghostwriter, Mr. Biden knew the passages were classified and intended to share classified information.”

The report further states that “[w]hen reviewing the notebooks with Zwonitzer, Mr. Biden sometimes read aloud classified notes verbatim, but he also sometimes appeared to skip over classified information, and he warned Zwonitzer that the material in the notebooks could be classified.”

The memoir, published in 2017, is “not known to contain classified information,” according to the report. The report found that “while writing the book in unsecure locations, Mr. Biden used notebooks containing notes he took during his vice presidency about classified meetings and information.”

The report notes that there is no evidence Biden shared classified information with a foreigner. (RELATED: Houthi Rebels Claim To Hit U.S. Warship In Red Sea)

Check Your Fact reached out to the White House for comment and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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