Fact Check: Pope Francis Did NOT Slap Donald Trump's Hand -- It's A Clip From A Late-Night TV Show

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Pope Francis Did NOT Slap Donald Trump's Hand -- It's A Clip From A Late-Night TV Show Fact Check: Pope Francis Did NOT Slap Donald Trump's Hand -- It's A Clip From A Late-Night TV Show Comedy Clip

Did Pope Francis slap Donald Trump's hand away when Trump tried to hold his hand? No, that's not true: The pope and Trump did meet at the Vatican on May 24, 2017, but the hand-touching clip is not real. That clip is from "Jimmy Kimmel Live," a late-night TV talk show. A good indicator that this clip is fake is how Trump's coat jacket covers the top of his shirt sleeves. When the clip of the hands appear, the coat jacket is a bit higher on Trump, so that some of the sleeves show. When the camera zooms out again, the coat jacket is covering Trump's sleeves.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) where it was published on September 12, 2022. The video had on on-screen text which read:

Never forget when Trump did this to pope💀

He was different😭

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-09-19 at 11.00.45 AM.png

Facebook screenshot(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Sep 19 14:28:54 2022 UTC)

The nine-second video shows Donald Trump and Pope Francis standing side by side for pictures. A close-up of what appears to be the two men's hands is then shown, with Trump purportedly reaching over with his pinky finger to try and hold what appears to be the pope's hand. In the clip, the hand that appears to be the pope's hand slaps the other hand away. The video zooms out again, and then ends. There is no narration; only the sound of cameras clicking.

Then-U.S. President Trump did meet the pope in the Vatican on May 24, 2017. The two stood side-by-side for photos. But the hand-touching scene is not real. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel created the clip and showed it on May 24, 2017 on his late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Kimmel's jocular commentary accompanied the original broadcast of the clip, but the Facebook post featured the clip without providing that context.

Here is another Lead Stories fact check about Pope Francis and Donald Trump. Additional Lead Stories fact checks related to the former U.S. president can be found here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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