An image circulating across social media has some conservatives convinced that President Joe Biden placed his hand on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s rear end. But the picture has been manipulated and isn’t real.
Zelenskyy visited D.C. this week and has been repeatedly photographed during his meetings with Biden and address to Congress.
On Wednesday and Thursday, one such photo that appeared to show Biden touching Zelenskyy’s derriere was spread among far-right users on Twitter.
“I guess you can just show up at the White House in your pajamas, let Biden grab your ass and you get a check for $50 billion,” one user wrote.
Conservatives have spent much of Zelenskyy’s visit criticizing his attire, leading figures such as Fox News host Tucker Carlson to complain about the leader’s apparent decision not to wear a suit.
The apparent disdain for the Eastern European president—and an obsession with Biden’s handsy nature—is one of the factors that allowed the fake photograph to gain as much momentum as it has.
“Take a look, Biden grabbing Zelensky’s ass, You have to sacrifice something to get something,” another user noted alongside the hashtag #ZelenskyWarCriminal.
Yet a simple search online shows that the image has been altered. Ignoring the fact that Biden’s arm appears abnormally long, the First Lady had already shared the original image to her Twitter account on Wednesday.
As should be obvious, Biden actually placed his hand on Zelenskyy’s back.
“President Zelenskyy, we hope you take our love and support back to Olena and your children, and all the families of Ukraine,” Jill tweeted.
While plenty of conservatives were in on the joke, at least some have seemingly continued to promote the image as legitimate.
“What’s wrong with Joe Biden?” another asked. “Like seriously.”
During his speech to Congress, Zelenskyy thanked the American people for their continued support and described U.S. funding of Ukraine’s defense against Russia as “not charity” but an “investment” in global security.