Fact Check: False Claim Biden Employed Crisis Actors to Portray Marines During Sept. 1 Speech


The claim: Biden used crisis actors to portray Marines during September 1 speech

President Joe Biden gave a prime-time speech in Philadelphia on Sept. 1, saying that former President Donald Trump and his supporters are “determined to make this country go backwards.”

Two uniformed Marines at attention were visible in the background of the speech, sparking discussion about the politicization of the military.

A Facebook video shared on Sept. 3 claims that the Marines are actually crisis actors hired by Biden. “Biden hires crisis actors to portray U.S. Marines,” the video’s caption reads.

“Crisis actor” is a term often used by conspiracy theorists when they falsely accuse people of being paid actors in times of tragedy and disaster.

The Facebook post generated more than 40,000 views and 1,200 interactions in less than a week. The Real Raw News story was shared in Facebook groups with hundreds of members.

The video cites a Sept. 3 article from Real Raw News, which bases its claim on information purportedly received from an unnamed source in the Marine Corp Gen. David Berger.

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But the claim is unfounded. According to a White House official, the figures behind Biden were not paid actors, but actual Marines. The original source of the claim, Real Raw News, is a website that publishes made-up stories, many of which USA TODAY has debunked.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim for comment.

Marines were not crisis actors

The claim that Biden employed crisis actors to portray U.S. Marines during his September 1 speech, according to a White House official, is false.

“The presence of Marines at the speech was intended to show the deep and abiding respect the President has for their service to these ideals and the unique role our independent military plays in defending our democracy, regardless of which party holds power. is,” the spokesperson said. USA told TODAY in an emailed statement.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also said in a: September 2 press briefing that it was normal for presidents to deliver speeches to members of the military.

When contacted for comment, the USA Marine Corps referred TODAY to the White House.

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Real Raw News previously published made-up stories about the Marine Corps and high-profile figures, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Dr. Anthony Fauci. A disclaimer on the site’s “About Us” page states that it “contains humor, parody and satire.” However, the message is not included in the articles of the website.

PolitiFact and Reuters have also debunked the claim.

Our rating: False

Based on our investigation, we rate the claim that Biden used crisis actors to portray Marines during his September 1 speech FALSE. The White House confirmed that the Marines behind Biden were real. The claim comes from Real Raw News, a website that publishes made-up stories.

Our fact-checking resources:

  • PolitiFact, Sept. 3, No, Biden Didn’t Hire Actors to Impersonate U.S. Marines

  • US TODAY, Sept. 1 ‘Extremist threat to our democracy’: What Biden hopes to achieve in Thursday’s prime-time speech

  • USA TODAY, Sept. 1, ‘MAGA Troops’ Determined to ‘Take the Country Backwards,’ Biden Says in Speech From Philadelphia

  • USA TODAY, March 8, 2021, Fact check: Hillary Clinton was not arrested by Navy SEALs acting on Trump’s behalf

  • USA TODAY, April 25, Fact check: False claim that US special forces Dr. Anthony Fauci. have arrested

  • USA TODAY, June 17, 2021, Fact Check: Hillary Clinton Was Not Hanged in Guantanamo Bay

  • The Guardian, February 21, 2018, Crisis actors, deep state, false flag: the rise of codewords for conspiracy theories

  • USA TODAY, Aug 6, 2021, Fact check: Bill Gates was not arrested by the US military

  • USA TODAY, Aug 18, Fact check: False claim that the head of the Marine Corps is defying vaccine mandate

  • Real Raw News accessible via Wayback Machine, September 13, About Us

  • USA TODAY, Nov 10, 2021, Fact check: Navy debunks article about cargo ship ‘full of smuggled children’

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Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Real Marines attended Biden’s September 1 speech


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