Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed he didn’t know the host of a fundraiser he is attending is a fossil fuel executive during Wednesday’s CNN climate town hall.
Isaac Larkin, a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I., Vt.) presidential campaign and doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, referenced a story that was published a couple hours before Biden’s town hall appearance. The story by the Intercept says Biden was scheduled to attend a fundraiser cohosted by Andrew Goldman, a cofounder of Western LNG, which is a natural gas production company based in Houston, Texas.
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“He is not a fossil fuel executive,” Biden said, before shifting the conversation.
Host Anderson Cooper followed up minutes later to ask Biden about the fundraiser.
“There is a fundraiser tomorrow night. It’s given by a guy named Andrew Goldman. He does hedge funds and stuff, but he also has a company called Western LNG and their biggest project, which I think was announced in 2018 is a floating liquefied facility for natural gas,” Cooper said. “It’s off the coast of British Columbia and it’s going to provide Canadian gas to parts of Northern Asia.”
Cooper went on to ask Biden whether he is the right guy to go after the fossil fuel industry, prompting Biden to say, “Well, I didn’t realize he does that. I was told if you look at the SEC filings he’s not listed as one of those executives. That’s what we look at. The SEC filings. Who are those executives? I’ve kept that pledge. Period.”
“Are you going to look at that fundraiser tomorrow night?” Cooper asked.
“I am going to look at what you just told me and find out if that’s accurate. Yes,” Biden said.
“I think it’s pretty accurate,” Cooper said.
Biden’s senior adviser Symone Sanders fired back on Twitter, saying Cooper’s comment was “factually incorrect.”
“What @andersoncooper just said about VP Biden’s fundraiser is factually incorrect,” Sanders tweeted. “Andrew Goldman isn’t a fossil fuel executive. He’s not involved in the day to day operation. He’s not on the board of the company, nor the board of the portfolio company.”
What @andersoncooper just said about VP Biden's fundraiser is factually incorrect. Andrew Goldman isn't a fossil fuel executive. He's not involved in the day to day operation. He's not on the board of the company, nor the board of the portfolio company.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) September 5, 2019
ABC reporter Johnny Verhovek reported that Cooper later clarified his comment about Goldman and said he doesn’t have day-to-day responsibilities at the company.
After Cooper clarifies Goldman doesn't have day-to-day responsibilities at the company, Biden says: "What I was told by my staff, is that he did not have any responsibility relating to the company…But if that turns out not to be true…I will not in any way except his help."
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) September 5, 2019
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