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Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Joe Biden is president.
Former presidents are entitled to lifetime protection by the Secret Service, thanks to legislation passed by Congress in 1965.
The Columbus Police Department in Georgia confirmed it provided a motorcade for Trump on June 10.
Former President Donald Trump arrived at a Waffle House with a motorcade in Columbus, Georgia, on June 10 following his speech at the Georgia Republican Convention.
One Facebook post shared a video of Trump’s arrival and, in a caption, drew monumental significance from the scene: "Donald Trump has armed military escorting him!" the post read. "Ya know who gets that kind of protection? The President of the United States!"
Text displayed over the video encouraged viewers to "watch til end to see who’s protecting our president." In a slowed-down moment, the video showed what appeared to be a uniformed person standing outside the Waffle House window.
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
First, Trump is not president; he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. Numerous audits and reviews by federal and state officials, including from leaders within Trump’s own team, have reaffirmed Biden’s win.
Second, former presidents are entitled to lifetime protection by the Secret Service, thanks to legislation passed by Congress in 1965.
The Secret Service did not respond to our inquiry about this claim. Although it may employ former members of the military, the Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security; it is not military protection. There are six branches of the U.S. military: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard. The National Guard is a component of the Army and Air Force, operating under their control.
A spokesperson for the Columbus Police Department in Georgia told PolitiFact it provided a police motorcade that accompanied Trump to the Waffle House. An agency spokesperson said they were unable to identify the person in the video who appeared to be wearing military gear.
Regardless, the presence of an armed military person at the Waffle House does not prove that Trump is president. He is not.
Claims to the contrary stem from QAnon-related conspiracy theories that falsely hold Trump has secretly retained power through an elaborate set of circumstances.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, June 11, 2023
U.S. Secret Service, Frequently Asked Questions About Us, accessed June 27, 2023
U.S. Secret Service, About Us, accessed June 27, 2023
U.S. Defense Department, Our Forces, accessed June 27, 2023
PolitiFact, How we know Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential race, Nov. 13, 2020
PolitiFact, The facts of a fair US election have only gotten stronger since Capitol attack, Jan. 6, 2022
PolitiFact, Fact-checking claims about the Insurrection Act, martial law after Capitol riot, Jan. 11, 2021
PolitiFact, No evidence that Trump invoked federal Insurrection Act. And he’s not still president, June 4, 2021
Phone interview with Columbus Police Department, June 28, 2023
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