Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has accused President Joe Biden of “plagiarism” after claiming that he was in New York City on September 12, 2001.
Biden raised eyebrows and sparked conservative fury on Monday during a 9/11 memorial speech in Anchorage, Alaska, by claiming, apparently falsely, that he personally witnessed the aftermath of the terrorist attacks with a visit to ground zero on the following day.
“We never forget … each of those precious lives stolen too soon when evil attacked,” Biden said. “Ground zero, New York. I remember standing there the next day. And looking at the building. I felt like I was looking through the gates of hell.”
Lake, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trumpdenounced Biden a short time later in a post to X, formerly Twitter. She also implied that Biden had “plagiarized” Trump by sharing a photo of the former president with her post.
“@JoeBiden’s famous ’empathy’ is nothing more than a series of lies, plagiarism, and grotesque distortions of his past,” Lake wrote. “Biden was nowhere near New York City the day after 9/11/01. Do you know who was?”
In addition to the ground zero claim, Biden’s delivery of the 9/11 memorial speech in Alaska, several thousand miles from the site of the attacks, has also come under heavy Republican fire.
The speech was given at Anchorage’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson due to the president still traveling back to Washington, D.C., after a trip to Asia for the G20 Summit.
Biden defended the location during his speech, arguing that the “distance did not dull or diminish the pain” of September 11 felt all through the U.S. at the time, including Alaska.
There is no public evidence to indicate that Biden, who was serving as U.S. senator for Delaware at the time, visited ground zero at any point on the day after the attacks.
Records do show that Biden was present in Washington on September 12. Biden on Monday also recalled seeing a “plume of fire that shot up in the sky” at the Pentagon after getting “off the Amtrak train on my way to work.”
In response to Newsweek’s request for comment, a White House spokesperson pointed out that Biden was at ground zero as part of a Senate delegation on September 20, 2001, but did not address the September 12, 2001, claim.
Lake was correct in pointing out that Trump, a New York City native and Manhattan resident at the time, was in the city the day after the attacks.
However, there is also no evidence that Trump visited ground zero on September 12, 2001, and his comments and claims related to the attacks have also repeatedly come under fire.
One particular comment made in the immediate aftermath of the attacks by the then-future president, an apparent brag about one of his properties supposedly becoming the tallest building in New York following the destruction of the twin towers, continues to provoke criticism 22 years later.
“40 Wall Street actually was the second tallest building in downtown Manhattan and it was, actually before the World Trade Center, the tallest,” Trump said during a WWOR-TV broadcast on September 11, 2001. “And when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second tallest, and now it’s the tallest.”
The post Kari Lake Accuses Joe Biden of ‘Plagiarism’ After Ground Zero Comments appeared first on Newsweek.
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