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Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman January 22, 2021

National Guard didn’t snub Biden’s inaugural motorcade. It was part of security protocol

If Your Time is short

  • The National Guard members who are seen facing away from Biden’s motorcade on Inauguration Day are purposely stationed that way to provide security for the parade and to protect the president, the department confirmed. 

A viral video from Inauguration Day that shows National Guard members facing away from the road as President Joe Biden’s motorcade drives past is being taken out of context on social media.

Some who have shared the video claim it shows military members purposely turning their backs on Biden out of disrespect. 

"Majority of the military with their backs turned to Biden’s motorade as it passed by," a post on Instagram reads.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

But the guard members were not snubbing Biden. They were part of the security personnel ordered to face outward to ensure safety during the parade.

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The video was first posted around 10:30 a.m. by ABC reporter Ines de La Cuetara with the caption: "The view from Biden’s motorcade as it made its way up to the Capitol." 

A spokesperson for the National Guard told PolitiFact that the video is being taken out of context and that the positioning was part of routine protocol. Guard members, the department said, can’t effectively provide security if they are all watching the parade — they have to keep watch of what’s going on outside the parade route, too. 

"These National Guardsmen were on duty with a mission to protect the president against potential threats," Guard spokesperson Wayne Hall said. "Some are facing out to ensure the safety of all."

This has happened during other inaugural festivities, too. A video of the motorcade for President Donald Trump shows some security personnel facing away, as does a video of an inaugural motorcade for President Barack Obama.

The post takes the video out of context. We rate them False. 

Our Sources

Facebook post, Jan. 21, 2021 

Instagram post, Jan. 21, 2021 

YouTube, Military turns backs to Joe Biden's motorcade, Jan. 20, 2021 

YouTube, 'The Beast' Leads Presidential Motorcade To The Capitol | NBC News, Jan. 20, 2017 


Reuters, Fact check: National Guard did not ‘turn their backs’ on Biden motorcade, video shows standard protocol, Jan. 21, 2021

Phone/Email interview, Wayne Hall spokesperson for the National Guard, Jan. 22, 2021

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National Guard didn’t snub Biden’s inaugural motorcade. It was part of security protocol

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