Facts Matter: Obama portrait unaffected as Trump portrait unveiled

A video showing a portrait of former President Barack Obama falling off the wall as a portrait of President Donald Trump is unveiled has been altered, according to The Associated Press.

The video was initially shared as comedy on Twitter, but when the footage appeared on Facebook, comments suggest some users believed the portrait had actually fallen, the AP said.

The doctored video, taken from footage of an Aug. 1 event at the Colorado state Capitol in Denver, shows a portrait of Obama fall from the wall as the curtain is pulled back to unveil the new portrait of Trump, the AP said. However, no one at the gathering turns to look as the art piece falls.

Associated Press reporter Thomas Peipert, who covered the event, reported the portrait of Obama "stayed firmly on the wall" during the unveiling.

Colorado Republicans used a GoFundMe campaign to raise more than $100,000 to have artist Sarah Boardman paint Trump's portrait, the AP said. She was also the artist for Obama's portrait that hangs at the capitol.

Biden's fuzzy timeline

While speaking at a recent gun control forum in Des Moines, Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recalled meeting with students who survived a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, while he was serving as vice president, according to CNN.

"I met with them and then they went off up on the Hill when I was vice president," Biden said. Following the forum, he told reporters, "Those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president," CNN reported.

But the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead happened more than a year after Biden left office, CNN said.

Biden did meet with survivors of the Parkland shooting in 2018 but it was after he was vice president, CNN said.

Biden spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield, while acknowledging the gaffe, told CNN, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a president who consoles Americans in their time of need so often that he sometimes mistakes the timing?"

Clinton, Epstein photo altered

The prison suicide of Jeffery Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, has touched off a swell of conspiracy theories about the financier's connections and his death.

But a photo showing former President Bill Clinton and Epstein together has been manipulated, according to The Associated Press.

The image, created by merging two different photos together, began circulating on Facebook following the Aug. 10 death of Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.

The doctored photo includes an original image of Epstein, dressed in a navy sweatshirt monogrammed with his initials, that was taken in 2005 during the launch of Radar Magazine at New York's Hotel QT, the AP said. The image of Clinton, dressed in a suit and tie, comes from a photo taken in 2016 backstage at "Hamilton" on Broadway as he posed with his wife Hillary and Lin Manuel Miranda. Both photos can be found on Getty Images.

Clinton spokesman Angel Urena told the AP the former president took trips on Epstein's plane but "knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York."

MSNBC anchor 'misspoke'

A recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, has ramped up discussion about President Donald Trump's claim of an invasion at the southern border and some Democratic presidential candidates have suggested a link between the president's words and the violence, according to

While Trump has frequently spoken of an invasion of immigrants since he launched his 2016 campaign, PolitiFact said, he never called for "exterminating Latinos."

MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace, responding to guest Raul Reyes claiming Trump's use of the words invasion and infestation could make some people wish for extermination, said, "You now have a president, as you said, talking about exterminating Latinos," PolitiFact reported.

Wallace took to Twitter the next day to apologize for the comment.

"I misspoke about Trump calling for an extermination of Latinos. My mistake was unintentional and I'm sorry," she wrote.

Deputy press secretary for Trump's campaign Sarah Matthews told PolitiFact, "Many more will hear what she said on air than her apology."

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

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