FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Donald Trump Greeting National Guard Members In DC?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A YouTube video shared on Facebook purportedly shows former President Donald Trump greeting National Guard members in Washington, D.C., in January 2021.

Verdict: False

The video actually shows Trump visiting troops stationed in Afghanistan in November 2019.

Fact Check:

Over 25,000 National Guard members were deployed to the nation’s capital to bolster security measures for President Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to NBC 4. Ahead of Inauguration Day, social media users shared a Jan. 18 YouTube video that purportedly shows Trump greeting some of the National Guard troops in D.C. in a surprise visit.

The video, however, appears to actually come from a trip Trump took in November 2019 to visit soldiers in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving. Former White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino posted a higher quality version of the video of Trump’s 2019 visit on Twitter.

Both videos are the same length and have identical frames, though Scavino’s video appears to be clearer and more zoomed-out. For example, at around the 11-second mark in both videos, Trump can be seen walking into a room while an off-camera person says, “All right, who wants some photos?”

The Trump White House YouTube channel also posted a video from the trip on Nov. 28, 2019. The same orange-and-yellow decorations can be seen hanging from the ceiling in all the videos, indicating the footage was shot during the same trip. (RELATED: Can Governors Refuse Trump’s Request To Send The National Guard To The Border?)

Media outlets such as CNN and Voice of America covered former Vice President Mike Pence’s surprise visit to National Guard members stationed at the Capitol on Jan. 14, so it’s likely that there would be reporting if Trump had done the same, yet there is none. We rate this claim false.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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