August 31, 2021

In August 2020, back when President Joe Biden was still the Democratic presidential nominee, a clip circulated on social media that appeared to show him asleep and snoring during an interview.

Only that didn’t happen. The video was edited to make it seem like he was sleeping, though he wasn’t.

Six months later, another false claim emerged that Biden was caught sleeping at his desk in the Oval Office. But that photo was doctored.

Now, claims that Biden fell asleep during a recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett are spreading online.

“Watch: Joe Biden caught *sleeping* during high-level talks with foreign head of government,” the headline in one post said.

“Biden fell asleep meeting with Israel’s prime minister,” read another. “How can we trust he isn’t asleep through everything else?”

Both posts show the same image of Biden and Bennett seated next to each other. Bennett appears to be talking to Biden, while the president’s eyes are cast downward at his folded hands.

But if you do actually watch the footage of that meeting, as one of the Facebook posts implores, it’s clear Biden is not sleeping.

These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Watch this video posted by the Israeli prime minister’s official YouTube account. Starting around the 7:25 mark, Biden can be seen clasping his hands and listening to Bennett. A few seconds later, his chin tilts downward and he appears as he does in the image that’s spreading online. But his fingers are moving, and it’s obvious that he’s awake. And as soon as Bennett finishes talking, Biden begins to speak.

We rate claims that he was sleeping False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.

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Ciara O'Rourke is a contributing writer for PolitiFact. Previously, Ciara covered local government and public safety for the Austin American-Statesman and fact-checked elected officials and…
Ciara O'Rourke

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