Biden loves telling stories. We cut them to size.

According to the Pentagon’s agency that records missing persons or prisoners of war, Mr. Finnegan, a second lieutenant, was a passenger on a plane that crashed into the ocean on the northern coast of New Guinea in May. 1944 after a failure of its engines. Three men, including Mr Biden’s uncle were lost in the accident while a fourth was rescued by a passing barge. There is no indication that the plane was shot down or that Mr. Finnegan was piloting the plane.

Mr Finnegan would have been an unlikely victim of cannibalism in New Guinea, anthropologists and local residents told PolitiFact and the Guardian. Studies of cannibalism in the country have shown that victims were usually enemies of warring tribes as part of an act of revenge or deceased relatives as part of a mourning ritual.

Mr Biden shared his account of how Mr Finnegan died after visiting a war memorial in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which bore his uncle’s name. The story was intended to highlight Mr. Biden’s commitment to equipping troops and honoring veterans, the White House said.

What was said

“I was getting on the train and one of the senior Amtrak executives – I became friends with them after all these years, and I rode for 36 years as a senator – and he came up to me – his name is Angelo – and he comes over and says, “Joey, baby!” » He grabs my cheek and I thought they were going to shoot him. And I said, “Ang, what’s wrong?” He said, “I just read in the paper” — because they meticulously keep track of how many times you — how many miles you fly a United States Air Force plane as vice president. “I just read in the paper, Joey, you flew 1,200,000 miles on Air Force Two.”
— in a speech in Nevada in December

This story, as told, stretches credulity. Mr. Biden flew 1.2 million miles on Air Force Two in early 2016, according to himself. Angelo Negri, the conductor, retired from Amtrak in 1993 and died in 2014. It is possible that Mr. Biden confused another conductor with Mr. Negri: He said he spoke in 2009 with an anonymous Amtrak employee, who also called him, “Joey, baby.”

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