DEBUNKED

Donald Trump Jr, shares a video he claims shows President Joe Biden is senile

President Joe Biden seems lost and confused in this video… turns out it was digitally altered.
President Joe Biden seems lost and confused in this video… turns out it was digitally altered. © Observers

A video from January 17 showing then-President-elect Joe Biden seeming lost and confused while on stage at an event has garnered more than three million views on Twitter. It was picked up and shared by Donald Trump Jr, son of the former president, who claimed it was proof that Biden was senile and mentally unfit to take office. Turns out, however, that the video was altered.

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A few days before Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, Donald Trump Junior posted a video on Twitter showing Biden looking confused. He stands on stage, behind a podium. He gestures to the cameras, then turns towards a table to pick up a folder there, before leaving. His movements are very slow and hesitant and he seems weary. 

The caption on Trump Jr.’s tweet says, “Yikes. If he was a Republican, the 25th amendment talk would be trending and rightly so.”  

The 25th amendment of the United States Constitution states that if the president is unable to do his job, if he dies or if he resigns, then he can be replaced by the Vice President. Trump Jr. is referring to the fact that the House of Representatives requested that Vice President Mike Pence invoke this amendment, thus removing Donald Trump from power before the end of his term, after the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. 

Trump Jr. is also referring to Biden’s age – implying that, at age 78, he is too old to govern. This was a theme oft-repeated during his father’s re-election campaign.  

Why this video is false

The original video is on President Biden’s YouTube channel. It was posted on January 16, the day before the modified video appeared online. The original video shows Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announcing the make-up of the White House Science Team. 

The video that Donald Trump Jr. shared online was edited, explains the website Politifact. The video was cropped and the sound was dropped four seconds in. The original scene takes place 43’06” into the original video. 

In the original, uncut footage, you can see that Biden isn’t alone on stage and he isn’t confused. He is simply waiting for two people to leave the stage. The edited sound means you can’t hear the other people leaving the stage.