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Fact check: Man greeted by Trump at rally not ‘wounded veteran’ 

Social media users have been sharing an image online that shows President Donald J. Trump touching the face of a man with a prosthetic arm at a rally and claiming that he was a badly wounded veteran. This claim is partly false.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Examples can be seen  here  and  here  .  

The posts read: “’I remember when President Trump met a veteran wounded so badly that he had no arms. The President reached out and touched his face so he would feel the human contact.’ – Mark Simone”

The posts add: “This is the real Trump that the media refuses to report!”

Mark Simone is a radio and television host who shared a Tweet with the quote ( here  ). Trump retweeted this and thanked Simone ( here  ).  

A video of the moment Trump signs the man’s arm can be seen on YouTube  here  .  

An article that has recently become paywalled identifies the man who had his bionic arm signed by Trump as Henry “Bubba” Stevenson Jr. ( here ).  

Snopes confirmed the man’s identity in a September 2019 article ( here ) and both Snopes and the YouTube video place the incident to a Trump rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 2016.  

Stevenson was born without arms. CBS affiliate News19 explained his plans for raising money for prosthetics and his story in 2014 ( here  ). Stevenson received his first prosthetic arm in 2014, according to a report by local news outlet OnlineChester.com ( here  ). A 2016 post on The Firearm Blog shows him firing a gun with his feet ( here ).  

A GoFundMe page for Stevenson’s fundraiser including a photograph of him as a child can be seen  here  . 

VERDICT

Partly false. Trump did touch the face of a supporter at a rally, but the man was not a wounded veteran.

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

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