Fact Check

Did Trump Hold the Bible Upside Down?

All eyes were on the president as he appeared for a photo-op amid widespread anti-police-brutality protests in June 2020.

Published Jun 25, 2020

Updated Nov 22, 2021
US President Donald Trump holds up a Bible outside of St John's Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump was due to make a televised address to the nation on Monday after days of anti-racism protests against police brutality that have erupted into violence.
The White House announced that the president would make remarks imminently after he has been criticized for not publicly addressing in the crisis in recent days. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Image Via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
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Claim:
U.S. President Donald Trump was photographed holding the Bible upside down outside St John's Episcopal church on June 1, 2020.

Shortly after law enforcement forcibly removed peaceful protesters from an area in front of St. John's Church on June 1, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump walked over from the White House to take photographs holding a Bible. While many took to Twitter to criticize the use of force on protesters "for a photo-op" (an assertion that was later contradicted by a Department of Interior inspector general's report), some incorrectly claimed that the president was holding the Bible upside down.  Video of the event shows Trump somewhat awkwardly fumbling with the Bible, but photographs from Getty Images and The Associated Press show that Trump was holding this Bible the right way up when he was photographed:

This rumor resurfaced June 25, when Trump took to Twitter to complain it had been repeated on a Fox News program: trump bibleA version of this article was originally published June 3, 2020.

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Sources

Gjelten, Tom.   "Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op."     NPR.   01 June 2020.

"Trump photo op was not reason for removal of protesters: Report."     Al Jazeera.  10 June 2021.

Updates

[Update Nov. 10, 2021]: Noted that the claim that protesters were cleared "for a photo-op" was contradicted by an inspector general's report.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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