A photograph shows President Donald Trump reaching out to rescue a Harvey flooding victim.
In the days following Hurricane Harvey, which caused catastrophic flooding in southeast Texas in late August 2017, an image began circulating online that appeared to show President Donald Trump leaning over the side of a raft, reaching out to a stranded flood victim.
Tellingly, the President is pictured wearing a suit and no life vest — an unlikely scenario in a dangerous flood. Presidents also generally do not personally take part in rescue operations after disasters.
The image, unsurprisingly, was digitally altered. The original can be found on CNN’s web site and actually depicts three rescuers with the Austin Fire Department reaching out to help a man clinging to a chain link fence out of the water:
The original incident did not even take place during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Instead, the image captures a rescue that occurred in the aftermath of flooding in Central Texas in 2015, before Donald Trump was elected president.
Video of the rescue was captured by Austin’s KXAN News:
President Trump did visit storm-ravaged southeast Texas after Hurricane Harvey on 29 August 2017, but he did not go out on floodwaters to rescue victims.
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.