Video edited to make it appear Biden tried to sit down when there wasn’t a chair

A video shows President Joe Biden trying to sit in a chair that wasn’t there during a ceremony in Normandy, France. However, full footage of the ceremony shows the president looking over his shoulder for his chair and pausing before taking a seat.

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CLAIM: A video shows President Joe Biden trying to sit in a chair that wasn’t there during a ceremony in Normandy, France, commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video, in which Biden’s chair is for the most part clearly visible, is cut before the president sits down. of the ceremony shows the president looking over his shoulder for his chair and pausing before taking a seat.

THE FACTS: As World War II veterans and world leaders gathered to honor the famed Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France, social media users shared the short clip to further an ongoing narrative that Biden is infirm.

In the video, Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands while standing between their wives, first ladies Jill Biden and Brigitte Macron. The president then briefly looks over his left shoulder, bends over and hovers in that position as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is announced as the event’s next speaker.

“This is disturbing,” reads one X post. “Pres. Biden is literally trying to find the invisible chair to sit in. It’s just all so sad, and disgraceful to those in attendance who desire to honor the brave men who died to protect our nation from tyrannical governments.”

Another X post states: “Biden is trying to sit in a chair that doesn’t exist. The problem is that he intends to continue running for the presidential elections.”

But the video spreading online cuts off right before Biden takes a seat. In footage of the ceremony , the president glances at his chair, bends over, pauses as Austin’s introduction begins and then sits down at the same time as Macron, their wives and the people sitting behind them. Biden’s chair is visible throughout the video although it is obscured in some sections.

Biden spoke later in the event, pledging “we will not walk away” from Ukraine, drawing a direct line from the fight to liberate Europe from Nazi domination to today’s war against Russian aggression. He called D-Day a “powerful illustration of how alliances, real alliances make us stronger.”

The June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion was unprecedented in its scale and audacity, using the largest-ever armada of ships, troops, planes and vehicles to punch a hole in Adolf Hitler’s defenses in western Europe and change the course of World War II.

Nearly 160,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy that day, most from the U.S., Britain and Canada. They faced around 50,000 German troops.
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This is part of the AP’s effort to address widely shared false and misleading information that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.

Goldin debunks, analyzes and tracks misinformation for 鶹. She is based in New York.