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Eric Trump
stated on May 18, 2021 in a Fox News appearance:
The Biden White House has "no one there. They don't travel. They don't go down to the border. They don't go overseas."
true pants-fire
President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One to board Marine One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on May 19, 2021, for a trip back to the White House after speaking at the commencement for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. (AP/Harnik) President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One to board Marine One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on May 19, 2021, for a trip back to the White House after speaking at the commencement for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. (AP/Harnik)

President Joe Biden steps off Air Force One to board Marine One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on May 19, 2021, for a trip back to the White House after speaking at the commencement for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. (AP/Harnik)

Bill McCarthy
By Bill McCarthy May 20, 2021

Eric Trump’s Pants on Fire claim that Joe Biden’s White House doesn’t travel

If Your Time is short

  • The Biden White House is not empty, although COVID-19 precautions have kept some staff working remotely. Most senior advisers are in the office every day, Politico reported.

  • President Joe Biden has traveled regularly on the job. He was in Michigan the day Eric Trump claimed on Fox News that “they don’t travel.”

  • Other Biden administration officials have also traveled regularly, including to the border with Mexico and overseas. Biden’s first overseas trip is scheduled for June.

In a falsehood-filled attack on President Joe Biden’s administration, Eric Trump wrongly claimed that the White House under Biden is not traveling — to the border, overseas, or anywhere.

"There’s no fight coming out of the White House," Trump, the second son of former President Donald Trump, told Fox News host Sean Hannity May 18. "There’s no one there. They don’t travel. They don't go down to the border. They don't go overseas."

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected Biden’s transition into office, but Trump’s claim about White House travel and work is wrong. Previously, he criticized Biden for traveling on the job too often, calling Biden’s weekend trips to his home state of Delaware "heartbreaking." 

The Trump Organization and former president’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

The Biden White House is not empty

President Joe Biden meets with congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House on May 12, 2021, in Washington. (AP)

Trump’s claim that "there’s no one there" in the White House is inaccurate. 

The Biden White House has maintained a slimmed-down in-person workforce because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it is gradually returning people to the office environment. 

"Today, those who physically come into work vary in the West Wing," Politico reported May 6. "Most senior advisers around Biden are in the office every day."

The administration includes Biden’s Cabinet, made up of the 15 agency heads and other senior officials, such as White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. The president has also announced his intent to nominate 233 people to serve in Senate-confirmed positions across the executive branch, according to a White House fact sheet about his first 100 days in office. 

President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a member of Biden's Cabinet, meet with Vice President Kamala Harris and members of the House of Representatives in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on March 4, 2021. (AP)

The White House has hired nearly 1,500 additional presidential appointees to serve roles in various agencies that don’t require Senate confirmation, the fact sheet says.

In April, Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the first in-person visit of a world leader during his presidency.

Biden, top administration officials have been traveling

President Joe Biden tours the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board's Carrollton water plant on May 6, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP)

Trump’s claim that Biden and his administration haven’t been traveling is also inaccurate.

Featured Fact-check

On May 18, the same day Trump accused the Biden administration of staying put, Biden had traveled to Dearborn, Mich., where he spoke at Ford’s electric vehicle center and test-drove the company’s new electric truck. Hannity highlighted portions of Biden’s remarks from that visit on his show.

In addition to those trips and his time spent at his home Delaware, Biden has also traveled to Georgia, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Texas. He has delivered remarks, toured vaccination sites and public health agencies, visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and participated in ceremonies such as the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. 

His first major trip as president outside the Washington area was in February, when he flew to Milwaukee to participate in a CNN town hall

Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Jill Biden and other members of the White House have also traveled beyond Washington, both with the president and without him. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other officials have visited the southern U.S. border with Mexico multiple times.

Similarly, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and John Kerry, a special presidential envoy on climate, have all traveled overseas, among other officials. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 14, 2021. (AP)

On May 18, the day Trump made his false claim, Blinken was in Iceland as part of a trip that also included a visit to Denmark. Kerry was in Berlin that day, rounding out an overseas tour that included stops in Rome and London.

Blinken has also traveled to Japan, South Korea, Belgium and Afghanistan, according to a list of his foreign trips. Austin joined Blinken in Japan and South Korea in March and went to Israel, Germany and Belgium in April.

Kerry has also made trips to London, Brussels and Paris, and to the United Arab Emirates, India and Bangladesh.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris on March 10, 2021, after a meeting. (AP)

Biden, who has been in office for about 120 days, has not traveled himself to the southern border or abroad, although he has pledged to go to the border "at some point." He is scheduled to make his first overseas trip as president in June. He will attend the G-7 Summit in the United Kingdom and NATO Summit in Brussels.

Harris is slated to go to Mexico and Guatemala in June, marking her first trip abroad and her first trip to the border as vice president.

Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as president came in late May of 2017, when he traveled to the Middle East and Europe. That was about 120 days after he took office.

Our ruling

Eric Trump said of the Biden White House, "There’s no one there. They don’t travel. They don't go down to the border. They don't go overseas."

That’s wrong on every point. The coronavirus has kept some White House staff working away from the White House grounds, but it’s not true that "there’s no one there."

Biden has made several trips, including a visit to Michigan the day Trump made his claim. Other members of Biden’s White House and Cabinet have traveled to the border and overseas.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Fox News, "Hannity," May 18, 2021

Various searches on Factba.se, May 19, 2021

U.S. Department of State, "Secretary of State’s Travel," accessed May 19, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Participates in the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's 140th Commencement Exercises," May 19, 2021

NBC News on YouTube, "'This Sucker's Quick!': Biden Test Drives New Ford Electric Truck," May 18, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Delivers Remarks at the Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center," May 18, 2021

U.S. Department of State, "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry Travels to Europe," May 12, 2021

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, "Readout of Secretary Mayorkas’s Visit to Donna, Texas with Congressional Delegation," May 8, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Delivers Remarks on the American Jobs Plan," May 6, 2021

Politico, "The Biden White House slowly, glacially, returns to normal," May 6, 2021

CBS News, "Harris to travel to Mexico and Guatemala in first foreign trip as vice president," May 5, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden and the First Lady Deliver Remarks at Tidewater Community College," May 3, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Delivers Remarks at an Event Marking Amtraks 50th Anniversary," April 30, 2021

The White House, "FACT SHEET: 100 Days In, Biden-Harris Administration Makes History with Presidential Appointees," April 29, 2021

The White House, "Statement by Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the President’s Travel to the United Kingdom and Belgium," April 23, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Participates in a Press Conference with H.E. Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan," April 16, 2021

U.S. Department of Defense, "Austin Travels to Middle East, Europe to Strengthen Ties With Allies," April 11, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Visits a Vaccination Site," April 6, 2021

U.S. Department of State, "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry Travels to United Arab Emirates, India, and Bangladesh to Discuss the Climate Crisis," March 31, 2021

Raw Story on YouTube, "Fox News host complains to Eric Trump about Biden's weekend trips to Delaware," March 26, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Tours the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute," March 23, 2021

Reuters, "Biden to visit border 'at some point', says migrants should apply from home," March 21, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Delivers Remarks," March 19, 2021

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, "Readout of Secretary Mayorkas’ Visit to El Paso with Bipartisan Delegation of Senators," March 19, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden and Vice President Harris Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," March 19, 2021

U.S. Department of Defense, "Asia Trip by State, Defense Secretaries Highlights Importance of Indo-Pacific," March 12, 2021

The White House, "Readout of Visit to the Border Region by Senior Administration Officials," March 7, 2021

U.S. Department of State, "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry Engages European Allies on Climate Ambition," March 6, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Delivers Remarks at the FEMA COVID-19 Vaccination Facility at NRG Stadium," Feb. 26, 2021

CNN, "Watch the entire CNN Presidential Town Hall with Joe Biden," Feb. 17, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden Delivers Remarks to the National Institutes of Health Staff," Feb. 11, 2021

The Associated Press, "Biden visits wounded soldiers at Walter Reed, where son died," Jan. 29, 2021

The White House on YouTube, "President Biden and Vice President Harris Participate in a Wreath Laying Ceremony," Jan. 20, 2021

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Eric Trump’s Pants on Fire claim that Joe Biden’s White House doesn’t travel

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