USA Today Bungles Fact Check On Biden Checking Watch

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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A USA Today fact check about President Joe Biden checking his watch during a dignified transfer of military remains has been amended from “partly false” to “missing context.”

Fact-checker Daniel Funke posted the original check Wednesday after photos were released which appeared to show Biden checking his watch during the solemn ceremony at Dover Air Force Base after 13 American troops were killed in the Kabul airport bombing. Funke labeled the claim that Biden checked his watch “misleading,” arguing that Biden had properly honored the fallen soldiers and only checked his watch after the ceremony.

“Biden checked his watch, but he did so after the ceremony had ended,” Funke wrote. Observers accused Funke of slandering Gold Star families who had pointed out Biden’s gaffe.

Thursday, the story was updated to change the fact check to “missing context.” Funke continued to make the fact check about comparisons between Trump and Biden, rather than the assertion Biden had checked his watch. (RELATED: Kabul Airport Bombings Mark Third Deadliest Day For US Troops In Afghanistan War)

“The way Biden paid his respects to the fallen service members is similar to what Trump did during his presidency,” the updated check said. “While Biden did pay his respects to the fallen service members, photos and video show he also checked his watch during the ceremony.”

According to the fact check, Biden checked his watch at least three times during and after the ceremony.