Nashville massacre, Joe Biden and the ice cream joke. Here’s what happened

“Is the story of Biden joking about ice cream at the Nashville massacre press conference true?” a user asks us via Whatsapp. It’s not a deepfakethe video circulating online is real, branded Fox Newsand the words are actually his, but as often happens the context has been omitted: it was not a press conference on the massacre at all.

For those in a hurry

  • Biden’s speech concerns a summit with American businesswomen in the White House.
  • This is by no means a press conference on the Nashville massacre, but a long-planned event.
  • Biden talks about the massacre a minute after his introduction to the event, which was started by those present and representatives in a joyful tone, broken by the President himself.
  • Biden had spoken on the massacre well before the summit, through spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.


Here is one of the posts where the clip of Fox News:

Fox connects with the White House for comment on the Christian school shooting, but is forced to cut the connection when Biden begins to rave: “I like ice cream. I went down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream.” * Think about how the world is. He is a clear and exemplary representation

The context

The White House website carries transcripts of the events. In this case, we find that of March 27, 2023 where we find the words of the President and the joke about ice cream:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. My name is Joe Biden. (Laughter.) I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband. (Laughter.) And I eat Jeni’s Ice Cream, chocolate chip. (Laughter.) I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream. (Laughter.)

In the title we read “Remarks by President Biden at the SBA Women’s Business Summit». This denies that the intervention took place during a “press conference on the Nashville massacre”. Joe Biden was facing women entrepreneurs from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a meeting organized in the East Room of the White House. From the time listed in the transcript, 2:43 pm (Washington DC is an hour ahead of Nashville), it was just a few hours after the massacre.

From the complete video of the event, published on the official Youtube channel The White Houseit is possible to note that the President’s speech begins around 7:22 and after a joke by Natalie King, founder and CEO of Dunamis Clean Energy Partners.

The moment after a joke from Natalie King before Joe Biden’s speech at the summit.

Statements about Nashville are earlier

The first statements on the Nashville massacre published by the White House date back to 1:54 in the afternoon on March 27, 2023 by spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre:

So, we’re seeing the heartbreaking news of another shooting of innocent schoolchildren, this time in Nashville, Tennessee. The President has been briefed on the situation, and our team is in contact with DOJ and local officials about what is known so far.

We want to express the President’s appreciation for the first responders and prayers for all the families affected by this shooting.

Biden’s intervention on the massacre during the summit

President Joe Biden talks about the massacre during the summit with the businesswomen, around 9:33 shortly after the start of his greeting to those present and some jokes with the parents and children present in front of him:

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. All right. Just how — just how it was in our outfit. Well, I’m so glad to see you all, and thanks for coming with mom. Okay?

You got to take care of your mom. Dads are much harder to raise. But, you know, we’re — (laughter) —

Before I begin to speak, and the reason I spent a little time on the kids, I — I just want to speak very briefly about the school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee.

You know, Ben and I have been doing this our whole careers, it seems. And it’s just — it’s sick. You know, we’re still gathering the facts of what happened and why. And we do know that, as of now, there are a number of people who are not going to — did not make it, including children.

And it’s heartbreaking. A family’s worst nightmare.

And I want to commend the police who repo- — responded incredibly swiftly — within minutes — to end the danger.

We’re monitoring the situation really closely — Ben, as you know — and we have to do more to stop gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation — ripping at the very soul of the nation. And we — we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons.

You know, the shooter in this situation reportedly had two assault weapons and a pistol — two AK-47. So I call on Congress, again, to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we begin to make some more progress.

But there’s more to learn. But I just wanted to send my concern and hearts out to so many parents out there. I’ve been to so many of these sites, as Ben knows, by — virtually every one.

And one of the things you folks should — I know you do know, but you should focus on — you know, just like when — in the military — when my son was in Iraq for a year, other places, you — there’s so many members of the military coming back with post-traumatic stress after witnessing the violence and participating in it.

Well, these children, these teachers, they should be — should be focusing on their mental health, as well.

And so I’m grateful — anyway, sorry to start off that way, but I couldn’t begin without acknowledging what happened. And now I’m grateful that all of you are joining us here today.


Joe Biden’s intervention and the ice cream joke was not made during a press conference on the Nashville massacre. The American President had just been introduced to a summit of American businesswomen guests of the White House, in an atmosphere completely unrelated to what happened in Nashville, preceded by happy and joking exchanges by the representatives who spoke before him. As soon as he concluded the greeting and exchanged a few jokes with those present, he intervened seriously on the massacre. In fact, the first statements by the President and the White House were illustrated by spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre an hour earlier.

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