Fact check: Biden ‘skintone mismatch’ in CNBC interview is due to lighting, not body double or deepfake

Posts on Facebook claim a CNBC interview with Joe Biden shows a disguised body double rather than the former vice president himself. Pointing to a “skin tone mismatch” and other alleged anomalies that are products of the interview’s lighting, these claims are false.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at Chickasaw Event Center in New Hampton, Iowa, U.S., December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Examples of posts making these claims can be found here and here . On Twitter, users speculated that the video was either “a poor attempt at CGI” or that an actor is wearing a mask to look like Joe Biden.

One Twitter user mentions the “lack of masks and social distancing” as alleged evidence that the footage is fake, despite the CNBC interview taking place 26 days before China alerted the World Health Organization of 27 cases of “viral pneumonia” in the central city of Wuhan on Dec. 31, 2019 (here).

The caption on one Facebook post asks, “What’s wrong with this picture? Looks like a disguise. This guy has brown eyes, not blue like Biden. Neck doesn’t match body. Is it a rubber mask and someone else?”

The screengrabs come from a Dec. 5, 2019 interview (here) with CNBC’s John Harwood while Biden was campaigning in Iowa. In the full interview, the Democratic presidential candidate discusses tax inequality and the threat of an imminent recession, among other issues.

Biden’s blue eyes can be seen clearly throughout the interview, particularly at the 6:47, 9:01, and 10:42 marks (here). Claims that there is a “skin tone mismatch” or that Biden’s “neck doesn’t match (his) body” are likewise baseless. Caused by the way the interview was lit, a shadow similar to the one on the former vice president’s chin and neck are also visible on Harwood, seen at the 3:30, 11:30, 15:20 marks (here). The shadow can be seen moving consistently throughout the video with the men’s movements.

Reuters photos of Biden taken on the same day as the CNBC interview can be found here , here and here .


False. This image of Joe Biden, taken from a Dec. 5, 2019 interview with CNBC, does not show a Biden body double in a mask, nor was it made with CGI technology.

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