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President Joe Biden holds his hand to his heart as a carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, at Dover Air Force Base. Nikoui was one of 13 U.S. service members who were killed in Afghanistan. (AP Photo) President Joe Biden holds his hand to his heart as a carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, at Dover Air Force Base. Nikoui was one of 13 U.S. service members who were killed in Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

President Joe Biden holds his hand to his heart as a carry team transfers the remains of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, at Dover Air Force Base. Nikoui was one of 13 U.S. service members who were killed in Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

Gabrielle Settles
By Gabrielle Settles August 30, 2021

The Bidens, Cabinet members were present at Dover Air Force Base to honor fallen soldiers

If Your Time is short

  • President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were present at the Aug. 29 dignified transfer ceremony for 13 U.S. service members who were killed in Afghanistan.

On the night of Aug. 28, Buzz Patterson, a GOP candidate for Congress in California, tweeted that the White House failed to send a representative to the dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the remains of 13 U.S. military service members who died in the Aug. 26 terror attack outside of Kabul, Afghanistan.

A similar post was published by real estate entrepreneur and Republican political adviser Blair Brandt, who tweeted: "BREAKING: The Biden White House had no representative, including the President, First Lady or Vice President, attend the return of 13 KIA service members back onto American soil at Dover Air Force Base."

Both tweets were based on a false premise: At the time they were posted, the plane carrying the remains hadn’t yet arrived at Dover, and the ceremony hadn’t happened yet. Both tweets were subsequently deleted. 

But the false claim continued to circulate overnight, including on Instagram, where an Aug. 29 post shared a screenshot of Brandt’s tweet.

According to a White House press pool report, the plane carrying the remains of the fallen service members arrived at Dover at 8 a.m. on Aug. 29. Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived in Dover on Air Force One about 40 minutes later. CNN reported that they then met with the families of the service members at Dover’s Center for Families of the Fallen. 

The Bidens were joined by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. 

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The White House declined to comment on the claim in the tweets and Instagram post. A Pentagon duty officer pointed to a tweet from Biden, which showed a photo of the Bidens, Austin, Blinken and others standing with their hands over their hearts after 11 a.m., when the caskets of the troops were carried from the plane to the transfer vehicles. In keeping with protocol, the press was instructed not to look, film or photograph in the direction of the military family members. 

 

Our ruling

Social media posts claimed that no one from the Biden administration attended the dignified transfer of the remains of 13 fallen military personnel who were killed in the Aug. 26 terror attack in Afghanistan.

The post repeated a false claim that was first shared and spread on Aug. 28, hours before the ceremony took place. The Bidens did attend the ceremony on Aug. 29, along with the secretaries of defense and state.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

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The Bidens, Cabinet members were present at Dover Air Force Base to honor fallen soldiers

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