Building on his false claim that Donald Trump said the neo-Nazis who clashed in Charlottesville are good people, President Biden told a reporter for The Atlantic that his 2020 rival campaigned on the idea that black Americans were taking jobs from the white working class.
"The people who built the country are the people who are all being left behind. When that happens, and you don’t have a counter-voice to 'The reason you lost your job is because of an immigrant; the reason you lost that job is because those black folks are taking your job' — it opens up the door to the Charlottesvilles of the world," Biden told The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere in the Oval Office.
Biden didn't offer any evidence for his claim. Trump, in fact, spoke often of numerous accomplishments that benefited African Americans, featuring his policies at his last State of the Union address. Among them are historically low black unemployment, urban opportunity zones, criminal justice reform, school choice and permanent funding of historically black colleges.
Breitbart News noted Trump boasted of his record at a September 2020 campaign event in Atlanta.
"In the first three years, we achieved the lowest black unemployment rate in history," he said. "The black youth unemployment rate reached an all time low. We achieved the largest job gains for African-Americans on record. Black Americans saw the largest increase in home ownership. The poverty rate for African-Americans reached the lowest level ever recorded."
But Biden charged in his interview with The Atlantic that Trump campaigned on "prejudice and division" and the Republican's agenda "didn't have any social redeeming value, as far as I can see."
Biden declared during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention that Trump's words in 2017 regarding the violent Charlottesville protest were "a wake-up call for us as a country" and, for him, "a call to action."
"At that moment, I knew I'd have to run," he said.
Biden claimed that when Trump said there were "good people on both sides," he was referring to white supremacists.
In fact, Trump immediately made it clear he was not talking about "the neo-Nazis and white nationalists," explicitly declaring "they should be condemned totally."
His reference – as a CNN contributor pointed out in a rebuke to his network colleagues – was to the people on both sides of the issue of whether or not to maintain statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate figures.