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Fact check: Biden’s granddaughters did not disappear during his inauguration, no evidence to prove inauguration was staged

Social media users have been sharing a video, which claims that President Biden’s inauguration was staged because his granddaughters suddenly disappeared while he was taking the oath of office and also because First Lady Jill Biden wore two different pairs of shoes during the day. This claim is false: Biden’s granddaughters were present throughout the oath and the video gives no clear reason as to why Jill Biden changing her shoes would be proof that the inauguration was staged.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and his family stand during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS

The video (here), viewed more than 109,000 times as of Jan. 25, 2021, shows footage of Biden taking the oath of office at his inauguration at the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021.

In one shot, his granddaughters are visible behind him in pink and white coats and the voice speaking over the video says, “Was the inauguration pre-recorded? Meaning, was it not live? [….] I want you guys to take a look at the girl in pink, Natalie Biden. To the right of her, the girl in white that’s Naomi Biden, these two are his granddaughters. They are clearly, clear as day, behind Jill Biden and Ashley Biden.”

In the next shot, the camera angle changes and the granddaughters are not visible behind the Bidens and the voice says, “Where did they go? […] Where did those two girls go? They were clearly between Jill and Ashley and they’re not there anymore. […]Witchcraft […]They’re nowhere, they’re not there anymore.”

The video then shows a clip of Jill Biden wearing nude shoes as she arrives at the Capitol for the inauguration and in the parade after the inauguration, but appearing in blue shoes at the inauguration ceremony. The voice speaking over the videos says, “Her shoes are blue! My god. What is going on?”

The caption on the post says, “We are litterly (sic) watching a movie with “bad actors”.”

GRANDDAUGHTERS

The sequence of footage and the watermarks on the video of the oath of office show that it is genuine as it was taken from the official White House YouTube channel, as seen here .

Biden’s granddaughters were standing behind him throughout the oath of office, as shown in video footage by PBS News Hour here . The granddaughters can also be seen behind Biden as he takes the oath in these photos by Reuters  here and the Associated Press (AP) here and here .

The reason why the granddaughters are no longer visible in some of the shots is a change of camera angle. These photos by Getty Images here and here  show that when the camera is filming Joe Biden side-on, from the direction of the Field of Flags, the granddaughters are visible in the shot. But when the camera looks more directly at Joe and Jill Biden, other attendees are visible in the background, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who stands out in a light blue coat.

The attendees standing to the granddaughters’ right, who would be captured by a more direct camera shot of Biden, match those in the video on social media. These include Pelosi, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to her right. In front of Pelosi is Senator Roy Blunt and his wife, Abigail Blunt.

The seating plan which explains the change of people in the background for different TV angles is confirmed in Reuters images  here  ,  here as well as in this guide to attendees from the New York Times  here  .

SHOES

Photos and footage of Jill Biden from the inauguration show her wearing nude pumps and also blue shoes. The First Lady can be seen wearing nude Jimmy Choo Love pumps ( here  ,  here ) as she arrives at the Capitol for the inauguration (in a Reuters photo here and PBS News Hour footage here ) as well as at the parade after the inauguration, seen in Reuters footage here  .

She wore blue shoes, the Jimmy Choo Romy (here) for the inauguration ceremony itself, matching her blue outfit. They can be seen in Reuters photos herehere  and C-SPAN footage here  .

The person who posted the video does not provide any explanation as to why her change of shoes would suggest the inauguration was staged.

News organizations from around the world and the United States covered live streams of the inauguration, including Reuters (here) , AFP (here) , AP (here), CNBC (here), NBC (here) and USA Today (here).    

Other official events related to the 59th Presidential Inauguration included pre-recorded footage, such as the Parade Across America (here) and segments of the Celebrating America Primetime Special (here).   

Reuters recently debunked another claim that the inauguration was staged (here). 

VERDICT

False. President Joe Biden’s granddaughters did not “disappear” during the oath of office and while Jill Biden did change her shoes, this is not evidence that the inauguration was staged.

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

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