By Erica Abbott
An image purportedly showing former President Barack Obama serving food to Hurricane Harvey victims is misleading. While the photo is real, it does not show Obama aiding in relief efforts after the deadly storm hit Texas. It was actually taken in Washington, D.C. in 2015.
According to PolitiFact, the misleading image was shared by Aiden Benjamin in a series of since-deleted tweets that attempted to compare the responses by Obama and President Donald Trump. “Something youll never see trump do: Obama is in texas serving meals!” he tweeted over the weekend with #HurricaneHarvery and #prayfortexas. Snopes reports that another misleading comparison was captioned, “The difference between #NotMyPresident &#MyPresident.”
Obama, however, did not travel to Texas to serve meals to those affected by Hurricane Harvey—the photo shows Obama and his family serving a Thanksgiving meal to those experiencing homelessness in November 2015. The photo was captured on Nov. 25 at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. The photo caption from Alamy reads:
United States President Barack Obama and family serve Thanksgiving meals to homeless and at-risk veterans at the Friendship Place homeless center in the basement of St. Luke’s Methodist Church, in Washington, DC, Wednesday, November 25, 2015. As part of the Administration’s focus on reducing the rate of veteran homelessness, Friendship Place received a $3.1 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015.
Benjamin later apologized for his misleading comparison photos.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on Friday night. It was later downgraded to a tropical storm over the weekend. At least five deaths and dozens of injuries have been reported in the aftermath of the catastrophic flooding, according to the New York Times. The misleading photo of Obama is just one of many hoaxes that have gone viral in the wake of the disaster.
While Obama did not travel to Texas to serve meals to those impacted by Tropical Storm Harvey, he did share a message on his official Twitter account over the weekend. “Thank you to all the first responders and people helping each other out,” he wrote. “That’s what we do as Americans.” The tweet also included a donation link to the American Red Cross.
Thank you to all the first responders and people helping each other out. That’s what we do as Americans. Here’s one way you can help now. https://t.co/iGfE8rAoAu
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 27, 2017
Trump, who is expected to visit Texas on Tuesday, had previously wished Texans “good luck” as the devastating storm approached the Gulf Coast.
Here are some examples of people talking about the misleading image on social media:
Social Media Shares Misleading Photo of Barack Obama Serving Food to Harvey Victims
Obama serving meals in Texas, helping people who are dealing with Hurricane Harvey. Thanks Obama! pic.twitter.com/CLaQoEIJjV
— TrumpRussia (@TrumpEra_2017) August 27, 2017
Trump tweets about himself while Obama serves Go to the full article.
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