FACT CHECK: Was Sergey Lavrov Pictured Sitting At The Oval Office Desk?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Twitter over 800 times allegedly shows Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sitting at the Oval Office desk during former President Donald Trump’s term.

Verdict: False

The image is digitally altered. Trump is sitting at the desk in the original photo.

Fact Check:

Lavrov became Russia’s foreign minister in 2004, according to France 24. He recently expressed his conviction that Russia would continue its military operation in Ukraine until “the end” despite growing condemnation over alleged war crimes involving the deaths of civilians in multiple cities across the country, Radio Free Europe reported.

An image shared on Twitter March 25 appears to show Trump standing next to the desk in the Oval Office as Lavrov occupies the chair. “Trump is the only President to let an enemy of the state sit at a President’s desk,” reads the tweet’s text.

The image is altered. A reverse image search reveals Trump shared the original, unedited version of the photo on Instagram in December 2019. It shows Trump seated at the desk while Lavrov stands beside him.

“Just had a very good meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and representatives of Russia,” reads the Instagram post’s caption. “Discussed many items including Trade, Iran, North Korea, INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and Election Meddling. Look forward to continuing our dialogue in the near future!”

The image shared on Twitter appears to have been created by digitally swapping the heads of the two men so it appears as if Lavrov was seated while Trump stood next to him. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Issue A Statement Calling Mike Pence ‘Weak’ For Not Overturning The 2020 Election?)

There are no news reports confirming that Lavrov sat behind the Oval Office desk when Trump was president. Neither the Trump White House, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry nor the Russian Embassy in the U.S. published a photo of him doing so.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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