White House says Biden had 'an emotional and symbolic moment' when he recounted debunked story about 'Uncle Bosey' being eaten by cannibals in WW2

The president suggested that his uncle was eaten by cannibals on Papua New Guinea during WW2.


White House press sec. Karrine Jean-Pierre was asked about President Biden's recent claim that his "Uncle Bosey" had been eaten by cannibals in World War II, and said that the octogenarian leader had an "emotional and symbolic moment" he mad the comments about the fate of the man who suffered a plane crash near New Guinea. The president told the tale on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.  

Fox News' Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre "why is President Biden saying his Uncle Bosey was eaten by cannibals?"

"The president had an emotional, and I think, a symbolic moment," Jean-Pierre said. 

"He had an opportunity as president to honor is uncle's service in uniform," she added. "He had an opportunity to be there as president to speak to the bravery of his uncle. And not just his uncle, but many US service members that put their lives on the line on behalf of this country." 

Biden's uncle Ambrose J. Finnegan, or “Uncle Bosey” as they called him, crashed in a plane shortly after taking off from New Guinea in war time when the president was very young.  

"He got shot down in an area where there were a lot of cannibals in New Guinea at the time," Biden said on Wednesday. "They never recovered his body. But the government went back … and they checked and found some parts of the plane and the like." 

According to PolitiFact, that his uncle was eaten by cannibals was a highly unlikely occurrence. Associate professor of anthropology Alex Golub at the University of Hawaii-Mānoa told the fact-checkers, "There were regions of New Guinea where cannibalism was practiced in the past." 

However, "the majority, perhaps the vast majority, of the population of the country never practiced it," he added.  

Another professor said, "The categories of people, and their parts, that were eaten had to do with formalized social relationships, not strangers, or monsters from the air."

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