White House comes up with unbelievable excuse after Biden is accused of engaging in full-blown 'election denialism'

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President Joe Biden appeared on Tuesday to deny that Republican Glenn Youngkin is the legitimate governor of Virginia.

At a campaign rally promoting abortion in the commonwealth, Biden stepped up to his lectern and said, "Hello, Virginia — and the real governor, Terry McAuliffe!"

— (@)

The "real governor" of Virginia is Youngkin; he was duly elected in November 2021 and assumed office in January 2022. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, on the other hand, served as governor of the commonwealth from 2014 to 2018.

The remark quickly went viral, and Biden was accused of engaging in "election denialism," a charge that Democrats repeatedly heap on Republicans. What made Biden's comment stick out is not only the fact that he referred to McAuliffe as the "real governor" — which thereby denies that Youngkin is the "real governor" — but the fact that Biden chose to declare the loser of the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial race the legitimate winner.

"Joe Biden — under water among Virginians by 17 points according to recent polling — came to the Commonwealth today to spout election denialism," said an email blast from Youngkin's political team.

A spokesman for Youngkin suggested there are two interpretations of Biden's comment — neither of which are good for him.

"There are only two options here: Either the President doesn’t know who is Governor of Virginia right now, or he's denying the results of Virginia's 2021 election," spokesman Rob Damschen said.

For his part, Youngkin responded, "Mr. President, I'm right here."

Youngkin later said on Wednesday, "I just thought it was pretty shocking that [Biden] might have suggested that there might have been some question around who won in 2021. Virginia spoke loudly. ... I hope next time he knows that the governor of Virginia is Glenn Youngkin and not somebody else."

The White House, meanwhile, tried to excuse the comment with a bizarre angle.

"The president was making a joke about McAuliffe's previous term as governor," a White House spokesperson said. "He congratulated Governor Youngkin on his election out of the gate and has worked across the aisle with him ever since."

However, the full context of the remark does not — in any way, shape, or form — suggest that Biden was referring to McAuliffe's term as governor. Biden had just begun speaking, and when he made the comment, he motioned to someone in the front of the crowd.

It turns out that McAuliffe was seated near the front of the crowd.

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