March 29, 2022

On the morning of March 23, President Joe Biden’s verified Twitter account tweeted an image of him saluting as he boarded a helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House, which looms behind him, flanked by green bushy trees and a scrum of reporters photographing him.

“I’m on my way to Europe to rally the international community in support of Ukraine and ensure Putin pays a severe economic cost for his war of choice,” Biden tweeted from @POTUS.

But some social media users have alleged that the photo is old, pointing to the trees as evidence.

“This picture, tweeted by the White House yesterday, was clearly not taken yesterday,” one image being shared on Instagram says. An account sharing the image claimed that “Biden tweeted a stock photo yesterday with trees covered in leaves taken in the middle of summer.”

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

The evidence for this claim, according to other social media posts, is that other trees at the White House don’t have leaves on their branches.

Biden was boarding the helicopter on the south side, where southern magnolia trees abut the White House. According to Yale University, the tree is relatively hardy, growing in cold climates like Washington, and “because it can maintain its beautiful leaves year round, it is often planted as an ornamental flowering tree.”

Photos of Biden before he left for Europe that day that were taken by news organizations including Getty and Reuters show the trees full of leaves. In this video shared by USA Today, both those trees and bare trees behind the helicopter can be seen.

We rate this post 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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