A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the real facts:
CLAIM: President Donald Trump walked into North Korea by himself, without Secret Service or military protection.
THE FACTS: Special Agent in Charge Anthony Ornato accompanied Trump into North Korea as he met with Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader. Posts circulating on Facebook and Twitter falsely assert that Trump walked into North Korea on Sunday without security guards, but photographs of the diplomatic greeting prove otherwise. Trump became the first U.S. president Sunday to cross into North Korea, after extending a hasty invitation for Kim to receive him at the border of the Koreas in the Demilitarized Zone. Associated Press photographer Susan Walsh captured a photo of Trump, wearing a navy suit and red tie, talking to Kim, who is in a black suit, on the North Korean side of the border of the DMZ as Ornato looks on. The agent was standing in North Korea, wearing a dark suit, striped tie and sunglasses. Trump spent three hours in the DMZ, which included an 80-minute meeting with Kim, where Secret Service agents also guarded the president.
CLAIM: Not a single Democratic presidential candidate wore an American flag lapel pin during the first round of Democratic debates.
THE FACTS: A total of six Democratic presidential candidates pinned an American flag on their lapels for the Democratic debates, which were broadcast live June 26 and 27. Posts circulating on Facebook and Twitter use the false claim to suggest that the Democratic Party is unpatriotic. Video footage and photos show that former Vice President Joe Biden, former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and entrepreneur Andrew Yang wore flag pins. Last month was the first time 2020 Democratic presidential candidates gathered for a televised debate. It was held in Miami. The next Democratic debates are slated for July 30 and 31 in Detroit.
CLAIM: Photo shows Kamala Harris at an event standing between her father and mother, who is wearing a sari.
THE FACTS: The photo shows Harris posing with two attendees at the 2016 Pratham USA gala in Palo Alto, California. She was California attorney general at the time. The photo, paired with a variety of false captions on social media, is being used to question Harris’s race. The couple in the photo, Suneil Parulekar and his wife, Rohini, are longtime board members of Pratham, an Indian charitable organization. The misleading posts have been circulating since Harris, a black Democratic senator representing California, announced her bid for the presidency. Her father, Donald Harris, is Jamaican. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was Indian and died in 2009. Posts using the photo with the inaccurate caption re-emerged after the first Democratic presidential debates last month when Harris spoke about segregation and being bused to school as a child. Suniel Parulekar said Harris was the guest of honor at the gala.
CLAIM: Video shows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being ignored by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
THE FACTS: A clip circulating on social media with the false claim shows Trudeau tapping Bolsonaro and then reaching toward the Brazilian president, who then turns in the other direction. The gesture is used in posts to make it seem as if the Brazilian president is disrespecting Trudeau by refusing to shake his hand. However, an extended version of the clip shows that after Bolsonaro turned to shake the hand of the person next to him, Trudeau tapped him again and Bolsonaro returned to face him and shake his hand. A photo taken by Adrian Wyld with The Canadian Press captured the handshake between Bolsonaro and Trudeau. Social media users used the shortened video to suggest that Trudeau had lost his credibility among world leaders. The video footage was taken during a meeting on the world economy at the summit on June 28.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
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