President Biden claimed Monday that he had an Amtrak train key when he was a senator and would ride “about 15% of the time” with engineers on trips home to Delaware.
The 80-year-old president shared the memory in Baltimore while touting $4 billion from his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law that will be used to build a pair of train tunnels in the city to replace a passage from 1873.
“I can say it now since there’s different leadership. I used to about 15% of the time ride with the engineers, for real. And I’m the only guy that I’m aware of — when I stopped riding Amtrak — that had a key to get in the back,” Biden said.
It’s unclear if Biden has told the story before, though he regularly shares personal anecdotes that fall apart under scrutiny.
Amtrak spokespeople did not immediately respond to The Post’s request comment.
Biden noted in Baltimore that he regularly rode Amtrak home to Wilmington while in the Senate.
“I rode the train between Washington and Wilmington back and forth every single day that the Senate was in, and they tell me it was about on average 117 days a year, about 265 miles a day. I put over a million miles on Amtrak, not a joke, including as vice president,” he said.
“Folks, look, I made 1,000 trips through this tunnel. So I’ve been through this tunnel 1,000 times. And you know what, when folks talk about how badly the Baltimore tunnel needs an upgrade, you don’t need me to tell you.”
Biden said that “when the project is done, new trains will travel through this tunnel at 110 miles an hour instead of 30 miles an hour.”
The president also told a pared-down version of a frequently told tall tale involving a deceased Amtrak conductor who exclaimed “Joey, baby!” while extolling his ridership data. But Biden’s latest telling stripped out key details that made prior accounts verifiably false.
“When I was vice president, I flew over a million miles on Air Force Two. And I was going home… as vice president, and one of the conductors said to me, ‘Hey, Joe, big deal, a million whatever, 200 —’ he said, ‘You said have over a million miles on Amtrak. I said, ‘How the hell do you know that?’ And they added it up,” Biden said.
Prior, more detailed versions of the story identified the conductor as Angelo Negri, who retired from Amtrak in 1992 and died in 2014. That tale was declared “False” in 2021 by CNN “Facts First” journalist Daniel Dale, who reported that Biden didn’t reach one million miles aboard Air Force Two until September 2015.
Biden told the more detailed version of the story seven times as president, most recently in May.
Biden is the oldest-ever US president and his mental acuity is frequently a matter of debate as he prepares to launch a 2024 reelection campaign — particularly after he asked “Where’s Jackie?” as he searched for the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) in September, despite publicly mourning her death and even calling her family to offer his condolences in August.
In December, Biden claimed that his uncle Frank Biden won the Purple Heart for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II — but there’s no evidence of the award and key details make the story factually impossible.
In October, Biden said firefighters nearly died extinguishing a blaze in his kitchen in 2004, prompting the local fire department to describe the event as relatively “insignificant” for trained professionals.
In May, Biden said at the Naval Academy’s graduation ceremony that he was appointed to the military school in 1965 by the late Sen. J. Caleb Boggs (R-Del.). A search of Boggs’ archives failed to turn up evidence of the appointment.
In January 2022, Biden told students at historically black colleges in Atlanta that he was arrested during civil rights protests — for which there is no evidence.
Biden in September 2021 told Jewish leaders that he remembered “spending time at” and “going to” the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the mass murder of 11 people there in 2018. The synagogue said he never visited and the White House later said he was thinking about a 2019 phone call to the synagogue’s rabbi.
But Biden also has faced criticism for years about imprecise or incorrect claims. He dropped out of the 1988 Democratic presidential primary after revelations that he exaggerated his academic record and plagiarized a campaign speech and a law school paper.
Biden infamously borrowed British politician Neil Kinnock’s family history — with Biden changing details to falsely claim in speeches that “my ancestors… worked in the coal mines of Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours.” Unlike Kinnock, who had used the line to describe his own family, Biden’s ancestors did not mine coal.
Biden also claimed in 1987 that he “graduated with three degrees from college,” was named “the outstanding student in the political science department,” “went to law school on a full academic scholarship — the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship” and ”ended up in the top half” of his class. None of those claims were true.