Fact Check

Did Biden Order FBI to Make Unannounced Home Visits to Over 100K Trump Supporters?

"The FBI agents say, 'You haven't done anything wrong yet, we just want to talk.' Is this a form of voter intimidation?," a popular post on X asked.

Published Oct. 3, 2023

Updated Oct. 19, 2023
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 7, 2023 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images) (Jacquelyn Martin (Pool/Getty Images))
Image Via Jacquelyn Martin (Pool/Getty Images)
Claim:
U.S. President Joe Biden ordered the FBI to make unannounced "knock and talk" visits to the homes of over 100,000 supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Sept. 30, 2023, a user on X posted a purported shocking news development: U.S. President Joe Biden allegedly ordered the FBI to make unannounced "knock and talk" visits to the homes of hundreds of thousands of supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

A rumor claimed that US President Joe Biden had ordered the FBI to make knock and talk visits to the homes of more than 100,000 Trump supporters.

The post was created by @RetroCoast. The account appeared to primarily concentrate on posting vintage American pictures from the 1960s, 1970s and other decades. Its replies were also filled with what looked to be right-wing political viewpoints.

The post (archived) read, "Breaking: Biden has ordered the FBI to make unannounced home visits to Trump supporters nationwide. Over 100,000 such 'knock and talk' visits have occurred. The FBI agents say, 'You haven't done anything wrong yet, we just want to talk...' Is this a form of voter intimidation?"

Generally, knock-and-talk visits conducted by law enforcement officers involve knocking on a door, speaking with the occupants and asking for permission to search the residence. "This technique is practiced in the absence of an arrest or search warrant and is considered a consensual encounter between police and citizens," the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin published in 2006.

As for the post in question, we found no demonstrable evidence that would support the rumor that Biden had made such an order, or that the FBI was carrying out hundreds of thousands of visits to homes of Trump supporters.

A rating of "True" or "False" cannot be applied in a case where there's not a shred of documentation or other proof. We created a fact-check rating named "Unfounded" for claims just like this one. Such claims typically originate as hearsay, speculation or groundless rumor.

We contacted the White House, FBI and U.S. Justice Department by email to ask about the post. We did receive any initial responses.

However, in an update, on Oct. 19, a spokesperson for the FBI sent us the following statement:

While our standard practice is to not comment on statements posted in social media, any allegation that the FBI targets individuals solely for their political beliefs is categorically false. The FBI investigates those who commit acts of violence or threaten violence, and we do not take action based on political belief or any First Amendment protected activity.

Multiple users replied to @RetroCoast to ask for data and sources that would help to confirm the claim that had been made. We also reached out to the user to ask for proof that "over 100,000" home visits had been conducted of Trump supporters. We did not receive an answer.

For more information about knock-and-talk visits, we refer readers to the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin post. The article examines whether such home visits violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That amendment reads as follows:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Sources

"Fourth Amendment | Constitution of the United States." Constitution Annotated, https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/amendment-4/.

"Knock and Talks | Office of Justice Programs." U.S. Department of Justice, Aug. 2006, https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/knock-and-talks.

Updates

Oct. 19, 2023: This report was updated to add a statement from the FBI.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.