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President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater on Jan. 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP) President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater on Jan. 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP)

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater on Jan. 16, 2021, in Wilmington, Del. (AP)

Daniel Funke
By Daniel Funke January 18, 2021

Donald Trump Jr. tweets altered video of Joe Biden event

If Your Time is short

  • The video was edited so that footage was omitted. Joe Biden did not stand around looking confused at a Jan. 16 event announcing members of his White House science team. 

  • The original footage shows Biden making some closing remarks alongside Kamala Harris. Another angle shows that Biden was waiting for other people to leave the stage.

With only a few days left before his inauguration, Joe Biden’s detractors are sharing a manipulated video that makes it look like he’s unfit for office.

On Jan. 17, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a video that shows the president-elect behind a podium. Biden says goodbye to the audience, then walks to a table and picks up a folder. After standing there for a moment, Biden slowly makes his way off stage.

"Yikes. If he was a Republican the 25th Amendment talk would be trending and rightfully so," Trump Jr. said in his tweet. The 25th Amendment outlines ways to handle presidential power if a president is incapacitated.

(Screenshot from Twitter)

The video has more than 2.8 million views, and we found similar clips published on Facebook. The posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Twitter labeled Trump Jr.’s video as "manipulated media." It was published a few days after the House of Representatives called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare that President Donald Trump is "unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office."

Featured Fact-check

Online misinformation often tries to falsely portray Biden, 78, as senile and demented. This video is no different.

The clip comes from the end of a Jan. 16 event in which Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced several members of their White House science team. Biden did not stand around looking confused — the video Trump Jr. shared was edited.

The original footage shows Biden making some closing remarks alongside Harris. Another angle shows that, when Biden leaves the podium and stands at the table for a few seconds, he’s waiting for other people to leave the stage.

Watch for yourself below:

The video Trump Jr. shared does not show anyone else on stage with Biden. It also edits out the sound of people leaving before him. The clip is an example of what the Washington Post calls "omission," or "editing out large portions from a video and presenting it as a complete narrative, despite missing key elements."

We reached out to the White House for a comment, but we haven’t heard back.

Trump Jr.’s tweet is inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Congress.gov, H.Res.21

C-SPAN, "Biden Science Team Nominations," Jan. 16, 2021

PolitiFact, "Biden wasn’t looking at books about dementia in video. The clip was manipulated," March 23, 2020

PolitiFact, "Geriatrics experts say Brit Hume’s claim that Joe Biden is ‘senile’ is wrong," Oct. 1, 2020

Trending Politics, "WATCH: Biden Appears Completely Lost and Disoriented As He Tries Exiting Delaware Speech," Jan. 17, 2021

Tweet from Donald Trump Jr., Jan. 17, 2021

The Washington Post, "The Fact Checker’s guide to manipulated video"

YouTube video from Joe Biden, Jan. 16, 2021

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Daniel Funke

Donald Trump Jr. tweets altered video of Joe Biden event

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