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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 11, 2023

Did Pope Francis swat then-President Donald Trump’s hand? No, that video is altered

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  • This video was altered and originated as part of a comedy skit.

Then-President Donald Trump met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017. 

But a video from that meeting that appears to show the pope batting away Trump’s hand is altered.

In the altered video, shared Sept. 8 on Instagram, the camera zooms in on the two men’s hands as they stand side by side. Trump appears to stroke the pope’s hand with his pinky finger. The pope, meanwhile, appears to slap Trump’s hand. 

The video’s caption was later edited to say, "The end isn’t real," though it didn’t specify what was or wasn’t authentic.

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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.)

The original footage of Trump and the pope meeting shows no such hand play. 

That’s because the clip was created in 2017 by "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The comedy show host was making a joke about a moment a few days earlier, when then-first lady Melania Trump appeared to be seen swatting away her husband’s hand after they disembarked from a plane in Israel. 

We rate claims that the video of Pope Francis slapping Trump’s hand is authentic False.

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More by Ciara O'Rourke

Did Pope Francis swat then-President Donald Trump’s hand? No, that video is altered

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