The video is real and hasn't been altered. However, the mulleted, dancing man was not Trump.
A video supposedly showing former U.S. President Donald Trump with a mullet hairstyle and dancing on the variety show "Soul Train" filled social media feeds in September 2023.
"He gonna bring the heart and soul back to America," one TikTok video asserted, while sharing the footage it described as a "young Donald Trump on Soul Train."
The same video with the mention of Trump's name also appeared on on X (formally Twitter), Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, among other platforms. The music that the man was dancing to varied from video to video, as the sound had been altered by the social media users.
The 45th president has been known to dance following some of his rallies, and to have busted a move with noteworthy figures in decades past, too.
However, no, that's not Trump dancing on "Soul Train."
While we realize some users probably knew that the video didn't show Trump and that they were simply sharing it as a humorous joke, we received several emails from readers who wanted to find the source of the footage.
On Sept. 11, 2017, exactly six years before we published this fact check, a user on the platform then known as Twitter posted the same video, except with the original audio and a clearer picture. Trump's name was not mentioned.
When your real name is Jared but you put Jerome on the paper so you could sneak in cuz you always wanted to dance on the Soul Train line. pic.twitter.com/9MaHD1cq46
— CHASE. (@ChaseNCashe) September 11, 2017
The song in the original video was "Why Should I Cry" by Nona Hendryx. The moment from the video appeared on "Soul Train" on May 2, 1987. The episode was number 25 during the show's 16th season, according to Fandom.com.
A search of the Getty Images website for pictures of Trump between 1985 and 1989 showed that he never had hair quite that long, nor was his physical figure quite so thin at the time.
We found the full segment from the "Soul Train" episode on YouTube. The unidentified man with the mullet shows up at the 2:04 mark: