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U.S. President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, walk onstage June 6, 2024, during ceremonies to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. (AP) U.S. President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, walk onstage June 6, 2024, during ceremonies to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. (AP)

U.S. President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, his wife Brigitte Macron, walk onstage June 6, 2024, during ceremonies to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. (AP)

Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu
By Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu June 6, 2024
Sara Swann
By Sara Swann June 6, 2024

President Joe Biden commemorated the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, with a warning that democracy worldwide is at risk. Not long after his June 6 speech, social media users circulated edited video clips of Biden, claiming the president sat in an "imaginary chair," had a bowel movement and left the event prematurely.

The event’s full video does not support these claims; neither do news reports or posts from people who attended. But the claims spread rapidly online, racking up tens of millions of views.

Here’s how the baseless narratives emerged and spread, and how the D-Day anniversary event unfolded, based on journalists’ pool reports and longer videos of the event.

PolitiFact contacted the White House for comment on the viral claims but received no response.

How an ‘awkward’ squat led to baseless explanations

Social media users across X, Instagram and Facebook shared a 13-second clip of Biden at the event in which Biden shakes hands with Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, then turns away and bends slightly, as if to sit. When no one else moves to sit, Biden pauses, shifting halfway between standing and sitting. At the end of the clip, an announcer welcomes U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to the stage.

@RNCResearch, an X account run by the Republican National Committee and former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, appeared to be one of the first social media accounts to share the clip on X at 7:55 a.m. Eastern Time. It was captioned: "Awkward."

Many other users’ posts credited @RNCResearch as their source when resharing the video clip. The RNC Research account has shared misleadingly edited videos of Biden before.

By the afternoon of June 6, the words "pooping" and "invisible chair" were trending on X.

Jeanine Pirro, who co-hosts "The Five" on Fox News, shared on X the same clip of Biden half sitting and said, "Our commander-and-chief trying to sit in an imaginary chair on stage in front of the entire world. Lights on, but Biden’s not home. Embarrassing is an understatement. ... THERE IS NO CHAIR." 

The post was later removed.

(Screenshot of Jeanine Pirro's deleted post on X.)

Commentator Dave Rubin echoed the claim on X in a post that drew more than 2 million views, saying, "Pooping or sitting in an invisible chair?" 

In the clip, black chairs can be seen behind the Bidens and Macrons as Joe Biden begins to sit. Seconds later, in the full video, everyone onstage takes a seat, including Joe Biden; everyone has a chair.

President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron react June 6, 2024, during a commemorative ceremony to mark D-Day 80th anniversary at the U.S. cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. (AP)

Other X users with blue-check-mark accounts claimed the clip showed the president "pooped his pants." 

Tim Pool, a podcast host and conservative commentator,  shared the clip twice in five minutes and said Biden soiled himself. Pool’s posts collectively received almost 4 million views just four hours after they were shared.

In the full video of the event, at about the 4-hour and 16-minute mark, Joe and Jill Biden and Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron sit down seconds after the abbreviated clip ends. About 10 minutes later, Austin’s speech ends and Biden’s speech starts.

Claims that Biden left the event prematurely

Another misleading video stems from a different moment from the same event. In the 33-second clip being shared online, Joe and Jill Biden walk offstage, and the camera pivots to show Emmanuel Macron talking and shaking hands with veterans.

Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative group advocating for limited government, shared this clip on X and wrote, "Yikes! At an Omaha Beach event honoring the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Dr. Jill Biden quickly escorts Joe Biden away leaving a seemingly perplexed French President Emmanuel Macron to honor WW2 veterans alone."

Another X user shared the clip and wrote, "Joe Biden is whisked away mid ceremony by his wife/handler, while French President Macron was left to greet Veterans by himself." This post was viewed more than 2 million times.

In the full video of the event, just before the 4 hour and 53-minute mark, Joe Biden is seen shaking hands with five veterans onstage and greeting several veterans at the beginning and during the ceremony. Afterward, he and Jill Biden exit the stage. 

When the camera turns to Emmanuel Macron, he walks over to a veteran in the crowd to shake his hand. Macron talks and shakes hands with another veteran before joining his wife and exiting the stage, about two minutes after the Bidens exited.

PolitiFact Researcher Caryn Baird and Audience Engagement Producer Ellen Hine contributed to this report.

RELATED: How misinformers manufacture and embellish embarrassing presidential moments

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Our Sources

RNC Research, X post (archived link), June 6, 2024

CBS News, Biden lauds WWII veterans on D-Day 80th anniversary, vows NATO solidarity in face of new threat to democracy, June 6, 2024

Rumble, "I think Biden Pooped Himself this Morning," June 6, 2024

YouTube, "The Times and Sunday Times - LIVE: Biden and Macron mark 80th D-Day anniversary in Normandy," June 6, 2024

Forth News, White House Pool, accessed June 6, 2024

The White House, "Remarks by President Biden Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day | Collevile-sur-Mer, France," June 6, 2024

Charlie Kirk, X post (archived link), June 6, 2024

X post, June 6, 2024

Jeanine Pirro, X post, June 6, 2024

Tim Pool, X post, June 6, 2024

Tim Pool, X post, June 6, 2024

X post, June 6, 2024

X post (archived link), June 6, 2024

X post (archived link), June 6, 2024

X post (archived link), June 6, 2024

X post (archived link), June 6, 2024

Instagram post (archived link), June 6, 2024

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