FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Pope Francis Smacking Donald Trump’s Hand?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows Pope Francis swatting away former President Donald Trump’s hand.



Verdict: False

The video is a skit from late-night television show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” No such incident ever occurred between the two men.

Fact Check:

The Pope and the former president met in the Vatican in May 2017, according to NBC News. Pope Francis criticized Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, remarking that a Christian should be looking to “build bridges, not walls,” while Trump called him “disgraceful” for the remarks, the outlet reported.

The Facebook reel, viewed more than 12,000, appears to show Francis and Trump together. It then cuts to Trump touching Francis’s hand with his pinkie finger and then trying to grab it, before the Pope smacks it away.

“Never forget when Trump did this to the pope…he was different,” the reel’s caption reads.

The video is not an actual event that occurred during the meeting. The original video shows Trump and Pope Francis pose for pictures. At no point during their meeting or during the scene in question do their hands touch. (RELATED: Did Mafia Assassins Descend On Rome To Avenge Pope Francis’ Death?)

A reverse image search found that the video is from “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” a late night talk show hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel. The clip of the two hands appears to have been added for comedic purposes. The segment also features an edited clip of the two men with audio from the leaked Access Hollywood tape inserted into the footage.

This is not the first time false information regarding The Pope has circulated on social media. Check your Fact previously debunked a claim from February 2022 suggesting officials from the Vatican were convicted of crimes against humanity by an international court.


Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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