Fact Check

Did Barack Obama Put His Hand on Melania Trump's Backside?

A photograph purportedly showing the former president touching First Lady Melania Trump's buttocks is fake.

Published Jan 23, 2017

President Barack Obama put his hand on Melania Trump's buttocks during her husband's 20 January 2017 inauguration.

On 22 January 2017, the Facebook page "No Lapdog Media II" circulated an image purportedly showing former United States President Barack Obama touching First Lady Melania Trump's backside on the day of Donald Trump's inauguration, along with a caption asking rhetorically, "What will feminists say about this?"  

fake obama photo

How will Obama mansplain this?

This image is fake.  It was digitally manipulated from either a photograph or a screenshot pulled from a video taken on 20 January 2017, as Donald and Melania Trump arrived at the White House just before the inauguration ceremony. Videos clearly show the Obamas leading the Trumps into the White House; those videos also show that former President Obama's hand was above Michelle Obama's hand the entire time.

The moment can be glimpsed at the 1:08 mark of the following video:

In addition to the video evidence, a closer examination of the image clearly shows a "ghost arm" where Obama's real arm was before it was doctored:

fake obama ghost arm

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.