Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek April 15, 2024

No, President Joe Biden didn’t address nation from Oval Office the night Iran attacked Israel

If Your Time is short

  • President Joe Biden released a statement condemning Iran’s April 13 attacks on Israel.

  • Presidential addresses from the Oval Office are infrequent and widely covered by news organizations. We found no news reports that Biden delivered such an address on the same day as Iran’s attack.

  • Our mission: Help you be an informed participant in democracy. Learn more.

When a U.S. president speaks to Americans from the Oval Office, it’s often regarding a crisis or an issue of utmost importance. 

It’s where former President George W. Bush addressed Americans the evening of the 9/11 terror attack and where former President Donald Trump spoke about the coronavirus outbreak on March 11, 2020. 

After Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel on April 13, one social media user claimed President Joe Biden planned to address the American public in a similar way. 

"BREAKING NEWS: 5:34 President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. will address the nation from the Oval Office tonight, following Iran’s attack on Israel," read a screenshot shared April 13 on Threads

The post featured five siren emojis and the words: "I was really hoping not to see this. This isn’t good." 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and Threads.)

It’s easy to understand why the idea of Biden addressing the nation from the Oval Office might have alarmed social media users, but there’s one problem: The claim was inaccurate.

(Screenshot from Threads.)

We found no media reports about Biden addressing the nation from the Oval Office the same day Iran attacked Israel. Biden released an April 13 statement condemning the attacks and describing how the U.S. military had helped defend Israel. 

Featured Fact-check

"The U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week," he said in the statement. "Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles."

Biden said he would meet with other leaders of the Group of Seven, or G7, the world’s leading economies, "to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack." The G7 leaders also released an April 14 statement condemning the attack. 

Biden did not announce plans to address the nation, and there is no record of such an address on the White House website or the White House’s YouTube channel

Politico reported that Biden "deliberately kept a low public profile" following Iran’s attacks against Israel in an effort to deescalate the situation. 

White House advisers speaking on condition of anonymity told Politico a public address was discussed, but there weren’t immediate plans for Biden to deliver one. Two officials said advisers felt that a televised presidential address "would likely escalate the tensions," Politico reported April 14.

Oval Office addresses are infrequent. 

President Joe Biden addresses the nation June 2, 2023, from the White House’s Oval Office. He speech covered the budget deal that lifts the federal debt limit and averts a U.S. government default. (AP)

Biden gave his first Oval Office address in June 2023 after Congress passed a bipartisan bill that would raise the federal borrowing limit and keep the U.S. from defaulting on its debt. In October, following Hamas’ attack on Israel, Biden gave his second Oval Office address, explaining why he believed financial support for Ukraine and Israel was critically important. 

We contacted the White House for comment and received no reply. 

We rate the claim that Biden addressed the nation from the Oval Office on April 13 "following Iran’s attack on Israel" False.

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Madison Czopek

No, President Joe Biden didn’t address nation from Oval Office the night Iran attacked Israel

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up