FACT CHECK: Did Joe Biden Have An iPad At His Podium During The Final Debate?

Bradley Devlin | General Assignment & Analysis Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had an iPad at his podium during the final presidential debate on Oct. 22.

Verdict: False

The video shows aides picking up paper notepads from Biden and President Donald Trump’s podiums, not iPads. Photos from the debate also show no iPad visible on Biden’s podium.

Fact Check:

The second and final presidential debate hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) took place Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Shortly after the debate, social media users shared a video alleging Biden had an iPad at his podium.

“Watch him grab his notes, then watch one of his staffers go and grab his iPad,” a man can be heard saying while footage from the end of the debate plays. “Now watch stage right, no one’s going to Trump’s, let me grab that iPad that’s giving you all the answers.”

However, the object in question is not an iPad. Rather, video footage  and photos suggests it is a notepad that was provided to both candidates for the duration of the debate. (RELATED: 4 Claims From The Final 2020 Presidential Debate)

At the end of the debate, Biden and Trump were greeted by their respective spouses. Biden can then be seen going back to the podium to retrieve what appear to be papers, according to C-SPAN video. At the roughly 1:58:10 mark, an aide approaches Trump’s podium and removes a cardboard-backed notepad from it, while another person goes to Biden’s podium shortly thereafter to retrieve an identical one, the video shows.

Photos taken by Jim Bourg and Morry Gash for The Associated Press also show paper notepads on both Biden and Trump’s podiums during the debate. No iPads are visible in the photos.

Check Your Fact has previously fact-checked claims related to the first presidential debate, including those that falsely alleged Biden received the questions in advance and wore a wire during the debate.

Bradley Devlin

General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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