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stated on May 27, 2024 in an Instagram post:
Joe Biden told West Point graduates that “he is not planning to accept the results of the 2024 election” and he wants them to “stand back and stand by” to ensure Donald J. Trump doesn’t win.
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President Joe Biden speaks during the graduation ceremony of the U.S. Military Academy class of 2024 at Michie Stadium on May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP) President Joe Biden speaks during the graduation ceremony of the U.S. Military Academy class of 2024 at Michie Stadium on May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP)

President Joe Biden speaks during the graduation ceremony of the U.S. Military Academy class of 2024 at Michie Stadium on May 25, 2024, in West Point, N.Y. (AP)

Sofia Ahmed
By Sofia Ahmed May 30, 2024

No, Biden didn’t tell West Point graduates he won’t accept 2024 election results

If Your Time is short

  • President Joe Biden did not mention the 2024 election or former President Donald Trump in his speech to graduates at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

  • He referred to the West Point Class of 20204 motto, "Like None Before," saying that West Point  graduates "have kept us free through every challenge and danger, you must keep us free at this time, ‘like none before.’"

  • He said "every generation has an obligation" to defend American democracy and noted that graduates took an oath to the U.S. Constitution, not to a political party or president. 

President Joe Biden delivered a commencement speech May 25 to graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and one social media post described a moment we didn’t see. 

"Joe Biden just told the military to be stand back and stand by because he will be calling on them to ‘defend democracy’ in case the 2024 election doesn’t go his way," text on an Instagram post said.

The poster, conservative commentator Joey Mannarino, also said Biden told the graduates, "stand back and stand by because, if Donald J. Trump wins the 2024 election, I am going to call on y’all to make sure that doesn’t happen.’ … Joe Biden basically told everybody he is not planning to accept the results of the 2024 election." 

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 and Instagram.)

PolitiFact contacted Mannarino through his X and Instagram accounts but did not get a response. 

The phrase "stand back and stand by" refers to comments then-President Donald Trump made during a 2020 presidential debate with Biden when moderator Chris Wallace asked him whether he would condemn white supremacist groups and militants.

In his answer, Trump addressed the far-right group Proud Boys, saying, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by."

Biden, in his recent address to West Point, did not mention the 2024 election or ask West Point graduates to keep him in power if he was not reelected. He referred to the preservation of American democracy, which he has made a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.

Here’s what Biden said, according to a transcript of the speech. 

Acknowledging the Class of 2024’s motto, "Like None Before," Biden said: "And just as this historic institution helped make America free over two centuries ago, and just as generations of West Point graduates have kept us free through every challenge and danger, you must keep us free at this time, ‘like none before.’"

He also said, "From the very beginning, nothing is guaranteed about our democracy in America. Every generation has an obligation to defend it, to protect it, to preserve it, to choose it."

Biden also said graduates took an oath to the U.S. Constitution, not to a political party or president. 

The Instagram post refers to a Politico article about the speech. Although the article said the speech had "clear political undertones," it does not mention Biden asking graduates to fight for him if he loses the 2024 election.

Biden has not said that he would not accept the 2024 election’s results, but he has said he believes there’s a strong chance Trump will not. Trump on May 1 told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he may not accept the results out of Wisconsin, a battleground state.  

We rate the claim that Biden told the West Point graduates that "he is not planning to accept the results of the 2024 election" and he wants them to "stand back and stand by" to make sure Trump doesn’t win False. 

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No, Biden didn’t tell West Point graduates he won’t accept 2024 election results

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