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Multiple photographs, videos and news articles show that President Joe Biden visited the Presidential Palace in Warsaw on March 26, where he met with President Andrzej Duda.
While there appears to be something covering the exterior of the building at the entrance, wider shots show the entirety of the building and courtyard. Duda’s office confirmed renovation work on the palace has begun.
Biden was also photographed and recorded during a visit with U.S. troops on March 25 and giving a speech on March 26.
The appearance of the exterior of the Polish Presidential Palace in Warsaw left one social media user claiming that President Joe Biden’s visit there was staged.
"Y’all waking up yet? You’re watching a movie," read the caption for a video posted on Facebook on April 6. You trust everything that’s going on over there? Why would they have to fake a building? Where are they really?"
The video plays a clip of Biden’s arrival and we hear a different person describe a "wrinkly wall and a wrinkly window" before the narrator isolates an image he claims shows a "fake building."
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.)
After stopping to visit U.S. troops a day earlier, Biden was greeted at the presidential palace in Warsaw on March 26 by Polish President Andrzej Duda.
In one image from the president of Poland’s official website (see the seventh image in the gallery at the bottom), you can see what looks like scaffolding on the left side of the building and the wall almost looks like a painting. We reached out to Jakub Szymczuk, Duda’s official photographer who took the photo, for an explanation, but have not received a response.
We also reached out to the White House, the Secret Service, Duda’s office and other photographers at the scene to explain the building’s appearance, but didn’t hear back.
The exterior of the building looked different in this Oct. 26, 2021, photo when Jordan’s King Abdullah II visited the palace, and on March 19, 2017, when Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited.
Articles translated from Polish from August discuss planned renovations on all presidential properties, including the presidential palace. And the chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland sent a statement to PolitiFact, confirming that renovation work on the facade of the presidential palace has begun.
It’s clear the building itself is real, as was Biden’s visit.
Wider photographs and videos from the scene show the full courtyard of the palace and Biden’s arrival. Biden was photographed visiting with U.S. troops on March 25 and giving a speech outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw on March 26 after his visit with Duda. The trip was widely covered by major news outlets, such as Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and many others, with no suggestion the event was staged.
Szymczuk, Duda’s photographer, posted a selfie with Biden inside the palace on Facebook the same day.
The palace was built in the 1640s and has served many purposes over the centuries, according to the official website of the Polish president. The main body of the palace was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1852 and the building has been renovated multiple times over the years. After one such renovation in 1994, it became the "official seat of the President of the Republic of Poland," the site said.
PolitiFact has debunked multiple false allegations since Biden took office that he and the White House have staged various events, including that Biden created a fake set to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, that he faked an interview in front of a green screen, and that an anti-lynching bill signing ceremony didn’t really happen.
We can add this claim to the list.
A Facebook post alleged that Biden’s trip to Poland was staged because the Presidential Palace in Warsaw looks fake. It does appear that there may be something covering the exterior of the building, but wider shots and video show the whole courtyard of the palace. Polish websites show articles from August detailing planned renovations at presidential properties.
In addition, there was widespread news coverage, some of it live, of Biden’s stop in Poland, which included a visit with U.S. troops and a speech outside the Royal Castle. To believe Biden’s trip to Europe was staged would mean believing a widespread conspiracy involving another country and the media. We rate this claim False.
UPDATE, April 14, 2021: This article has been updated to reflect that Polish officials confirmed renovation work has begun on the palace. The rating is unchanged.
Official website of Polish president, "Meeting with the president of the United States," March 26, 2022
C-SPAN, "President Biden Meets with 82nd Airborne Troops in Poland," March 25, 2022
Associated Press photos, Biden at the presidential palace in Warsaw, March 26, 2022
Associated Press video, "Ceremony for Biden at Polish Presidential Palace," March 26, 2022
Getty Images, President Biden’s meeting with President Duda, March 26, 2022
MSNBC, "Polish President Duda greets Biden at Presidential Palace," March 26, 2022
The Washington Post, "Biden gives a speech in Poland," March 26, 2022
The New York Times, "In a Fiery Speech, Biden Warns of a Battle Between ‘Liberty and Repression,’" March 26, 2022
Fox News, "Biden says Putin ‘cannot remain in power’ as he assures Ukraine: ‘We stand with you,’" March 26, 2022
The Wall Street Journal, "Biden Says Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘Cannot Remain in Power,’" March 26, 2022
Domiporta, "The Chancellery of the President will spend PLN 22 million on renovations. And this is just the beginning," Aug. 21, 2021
Rzeczpospolita, "Great renovations at President Andrzej Duda," Aug. 19, 2021
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