FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Trump Participating In A Prayer Circle Before The State Of The Union Address?

Matt Noel | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook more than 16,000 times allegedly shows President Donald Trump at the center of a prayer circle before the State of the Union address on Feb. 4.

“This was before the State of the Union Address,” reads the caption. “This is our President having hands placed on him and being prayed over. That’s a powerful statement.”

Verdict: False

The photo was not taken before the 2020 State of the Union address. It comes from a July 2017 meeting between Trump and evangelical leaders in the Oval Office.

Fact Check:

Johnnie Moore, a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, and Rodney Howard-Browne, an evangelical Florida pastor, shared the original photo on July 11, 2017, after meeting with the president in the Oval Office the previous day.

The photo shows the group laying their hands on Trump’s shoulders as his head is bent in prayer. Vice President Mike Pence can also be seen in the background, participating in the prayer session. (RELATED: 5 Claims From Trump’s 2020 State Of The Union Address)

Despite it being first shared by the two religious leaders over two years ago, multiple Facebook users erroneously claimed it was taken before the State of the Union address this week. One post has been shared more than 21,000 times at the time of publication.

Trump delivered his third State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on the evening of Feb. 4. In his speech, he discussed the economy, immigration and other key points while laying out aspects of his legislative agenda for the coming year, including two potential pieces of health care legislation, according to The New York Times.

Matt Noel

Fact Check Reporter
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