Fact Check

Can the $20 Bill Be Folded to Spell 'Trump'?

You could no doubt fold the bill into several different words.

Published Dec. 17, 2019

Full frame pile of new American money.  Twenty dollar bill on top.  Related: (Getty Images/Stock photo)
Full frame pile of new American money. Twenty dollar bill on top. Related: (Image Via Getty Images/Stock photo)
The $20 bill can be folded to spell the name "Trump."

In December 2019, social media users shared a meme containing a picture that purported to demonstrate a $20 bill could be folded to spell the last name of U.S. President Donald Trump in a "hidden" message.

The photograph is misleading for several reasons. For starters, the $20 bill doesn't have lettering in the area where the bill is folded to spell out "Trump."

Instead, it appears that one or more $1 bills were folded inside the $20 to give the illusion:

Because the letter "P" does not appear in the phrase "The United States of America" on the $1 bill, someone apparently used a marker to turn a "D" into a "P" in order to finish spelling "Trump" in the meme.

And finally, anything with lettering on it that can be folded can be used to create whatever "hidden messages" the letters allow.

We therefore rate this claim "False" because the picture in the meme is misleadingly manipulated to make it appear "Trump" can be spelled by folding a single $20 bill, thus it is not a "hidden message" embedded in currency that was in circulation well before Trump's presidency.


Brown, DeNeen L. "Harriet Tubman Is Already Appearing on $20 Bills Whether Trump Officials Like It or Not."   Washington Post. 23 May 2019.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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