Q: Did President Donald Trump ignore a disabled child who tried to shake his hand?
A: No. A viral video clip omitted Trump’s earlier interaction with the boy.
The headline of a July 29 story on washingtonjournal.com says: “This Video Of A Disabled Toddler Trying To Shake Trump’s Hand And Getting Ignored Will Break Your Heart.”
The story — which Facebook users flagged as potentially fake news — claims that President Donald Trump overlooked the child at a July 24 event at the White House highlighting problems with the Affordable Care Act.
But the video clip, which has received more than 250,000 views on YouTube, is misleading. It doesn’t show Trump’s earlier interaction with the young boy, who also wasn’t trying to shake the president’s hand, his mom said.
“Just a few days ago, the President gathered a number of people willing to be political props, dubbing them the ‘victims of Obamacare’ at the White House while he made a vague, rambling pitch for its repeal that was entirely devoid of any discussion of policy or the catastrophic effects that repeal would have,” the Washington Journal story says.
“When he was finished, he turned to shake the hands of those behind him — except for one child, who happened to be in a wheelchair.”
The 24-second video clip embedded in the story does show Trump shaking hands with several adults and engaging with some of the children while moving past Montgomery Weer, a three-year-old with spina bifida, who has his hand extended. But a longer White House video shows that earlier, as he walked to the podium to make his remarks, Trump stopped to speak to the boy.
What’s more, Weer wasn’t trying to shake Trump’s hand, according to his mother, Marjorie, who cleared up what happened on social media.
“Trump didn’t snub my son & Monty wasn’t even trying to shake his hand (1. He’s 3 and hand shaking is not his thing, 2. he was showing off his newly acquired secret service patch),” she wrote on Facebook. (In both videos, the boy appears to have something in his hand.)
Even “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who criticized Trump on Twitter for the alleged snub, was misled by the video clip. Rowling later deleted her tweets and apologized to the family.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by readers on the social media network.
Dickinson, Natalie. “This Video Of A Disabled Toddler Trying To Shake Trump’s Hand And Getting Ignored Will Break Your Heart.” Washingtonjournal.com. 29 Jul 2017.
White House. “Obamacare Has Wreaked Havoc on Innocent Americans.” YouTube.com. 25 Jul 2017.
White House. “President Trump Gives a Statement on Healthcare.” YouTube.com. 24 Jul 2017.
White House. “President Trump Meets With Families Adversely Affected by Obamacare.” 24 Jul 2017.
Bilefsky, Dan. “J.K. Rowling Apologizes for Anti-Trump Tweets (but Not to Trump).” New York Times. 1 Aug 2017.
Horton, Alex. “J.K. Rowling ripped Trump for slighting a boy in a wheelchair. But she got the story wrong.” Washington Post. 1 Aug 2017.