White House says Biden ‘cares deeply’ about troops after false debate claim that none have died on his watch

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that President Biden’s debate-night blunder in which he claimed no U.S. troops had died under his watch was made because of how “deeply” he cares about service members.

“The president was making a comparison between how many service members have died under his leadership versus in previous years. That’s what the comparison that he was making,” Jean-Pierre said during Wednesday’s press briefing. “He was doing that because he cares so deeply, cares so deeply about them and their families and wants to keep troops safe.”

The comments came in response to a question about Biden’s debate claim that he is the “only president this century” not to have troops die on his watch.

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“Truth is, I’m the only president this century that doesn’t have — this decade — any troops dying anywhere in the world like he did,” Biden said.

Critics were quick to point out that U.S. troops have died under Biden’s watch, including the 13 service members who were killed in a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzia International Airport during the U.S. mission to evacuate Afghanistan.

More recently, three U.S. service members were killed in a January drone attack on a U.S. base in Jordan. 

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Jean-Pierre acknowledged both attacks during Wednesday’s press briefing, noting that Biden attended the dignified transfer of the service members’ remains in both cases.

But Biden generated controversy during his attendance at the dignified transfer of the 13 service members killed in Afghanistan after appearing to check his watch as the ceremony unfolded.

Nevertheless, Jean-Pierre argued Wednesday that Biden “cares so deeply” about service members “and their families.”

“Let’s not forget that for some time, he carried a card in his pocket about how many service members were wounded and killed in Iraq and in Afghanistan,” Jean-Pierre said. “That’s how much it was a reminder to him, you know, the times that we live in.”

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The White House did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.