Fact Check-Footage of Trump disembarking Air Force One is from December 2020, not April 2021

Footage circulating of former U.S. president Donald Trump disembarking the presidential aircraft, Air Force One, is not evidence that Trump is “back” as president: it was taken in December 2020, not April 2021. Trump stepped down as President in January 2021.

The posts (here , here) show a clip, or Bitchute links (here , here) to a clip of Trump exiting Air Force One, followed by commentary from a man who says, “Florida, this past week, at night, Air Force One, secret service, Trump’s own bodyguards, an SUV that has the presidential seal on it […] President Trump is back.” “This past week” refers to April 2021 as the clip comes from an April 16, 2021 episode of American Media Periscope (here).

Captions on the video include, “President Trump returns in a blaze of glory on Air Force 1 – military preparing to oust Biden” and (posted on April 22) “President Trump landed in Florida at night last week (this past week): with real Airforce One, Secret Service welcomes him and FLOTUS, tank SUV with Presidential Seal. POTUS is back.”

The footage being shared in the social media posts was taken on December 23, 2020, and shows Trump landing on Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida, as seen in Fox News and Bloomberg footage here and here . A Reuters photo also shows Trump descending for Air Force One in Florida that night here .

Joe Biden succeeded Trump as President of the United States on January 20, 2021. (here , here , here)

The claims that Trump has returned appear to be linked to the widely debunked QAnon conspiracy theory. Some supporters of QAnon, which espouses that former President Trump is secretly fighting a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and “deep state” allies (here), have claimed that Biden is not really president and that the military is in power until Trump returns to office.

Reuters has previously debunked false claims purporting to show proof that Biden is not president here , here and here .


False. The footage of Trump disembarking Air Force One was taken in December 2020 when Trump was still president, not April 2021 after he left office.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .