Fact Check

Did Biden Fail To Recognize UK Prime Minister Sunak in Belfast?

On April 11, 2023, the U.S. president visited Belfast, Northern Ireland, where British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed him.

Published Apr 13, 2023

Image Via @KimDotcom/Twitter
U.S. President Joe Biden did not recognize British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak when they met in Belfast on April 11, 2023.

On April 12, 2023, a claim spread on social media that U.S. President Joe Biden did not recognize a waiting U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after landing in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

A number of users on Twitter shared a viral video clip and claimed that Biden did not recognize Sunak after he landed in Belfast. Another user claimed Biden shoved Sunak aside. In fact, unedited video shows that Biden shook hands with Sunak.

"Joe Biden doesn't recognize the little brown guy (Prime Minister of UK) and pushes him away to salute the old white guy. The look on the face of @RishiSunak is priceless," wrote Twitter user @KimDotcom. 

The claim that Biden did not recognize Sunak or shoved him aside is false. The clip used in these social media posts appears to have been edited to give that impression.

Sky News' video and The Sun's video of the moment showed that Biden not only recognized Sunak but also spoke briefly with him, patted his arm, and then saluted a uniformed officer standing there. Biden was visiting Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement that ended violent conflict there. 

We reached out to the Twitter users making false claims to the effect that Biden did not recognize Sunak or that he shoved him. However, none of them responded to Snopes.

This was not the first time people shared edited or fake videos of Biden. Among others, Snopes fact-checked one manipulated video in which Biden was supposedly enjoying a recording of the N.W.A. song "Fuck Tha Police."

Damakant Jayshi is a former writer for Snopes.