WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday deleted a widely mocked Twitter post that misleadingly attributed a recent increase in Social Security payments to older Americans to “President Biden’s leadership.”
The tweet, which had been posted on Tuesday, was removed without explanation a day later after it had been skewered by critics and contradicted by a new Twitter feature that allows users to fact-check erroneous assertions. The automatic 8.7 percent cost of living increase that Social Security beneficiaries are receiving is a result of inflation running at a four-decade high, not a policy achievement enacted by Mr. Biden.
When asked on Wednesday about the removal of the tweet, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, suggested that it had lacked sufficient context.
“Look, the tweet was not complete,” she said. “Usually when we put out a tweet, we post it with context, and it did not have that context.”
Ms. Jean-Pierre went on to say that Medicare premiums are decreasing even as Social Security payments go up, suggesting that such information would have rounded out the original Twitter post.
“That’s a little bit of context that was not included,” she said. “This means that seniors will have a chance to get ahead of inflation due to the rare combination of rising benefits and falling premiums.”
In the final days before the midterm elections next week, Mr. Biden has repeatedly criticized Republicans for proposals that could scale back social safety net programs. He has insisted that he and the Democrats would protect and bolster Social Security and Medicare.
The tweet that the White House deleted echoed a remark that the president made this week during a speech in Florida, when he declared, “On my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.”
When pressed about the similar sentiments, Ms. Jean-Pierre suggested that Mr. Biden was not trying to take credit for the cost of living increase.
“We believe that we — we want to lay the — we want to lay our argument out fully,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “And that was important to do, as we put out, you know, information like that or as we put out a tweet.”
She added: “And that was an incomplete tweet.”