June 24, 2022

President Joe Biden recently fell off his bike as he was trying to dismount in Delaware, but former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did not use the opportunity to insult Biden’s predecessor, as a recent image suggests.

“President Biden might need kneepads for riding his bike, but the last guy needed kneepads for visiting the Kremlin,” read what looked like an image of a tweet from a purportedly verified Twitter account with Psaki’s name.

An Instagram post sharing it 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 image spread on Twitter too, and even though it had the words “Parody by Back Rub” visible in the bottom right corner, people seemed to think it was real. Psaki responded to one tweet sharing the screenshot.

“Hate to disappoint, but…This is not my account,” tweeted Psaki on June 19, a little more than a month after departing her White House communications position. “This is not approved by me on any level. (And there have been a number of these in the last few weeks) Anything with ‘Parody..’ in it means it is someone tweeting with an image and Twitter account that looks like me and is not.”

Some posts, such as this Instagram post, were updated to reflect that this tweet isn’t from Psaki.

Indeed, we found no evidence that Psaki tweeted this kneepads statement. It’s not on her verified Twitter account, which has a handle of @jrpsaki. The Twitter handle mentioned on the Instagram post is “@psaki” — an account that does not seem to exist. (The statement also does not appear on Psaki’s archived Twitter account from her time working for the Obama administration, @Psaki44.) 

We also didn’t find the tweet after searching for it more broadly online. When people delete tweets, an echo of those posts still appears in Google search results, but there were none there in this case.

We rate claims that Psaki tweeted this Pants on Fire!

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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