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Trump portrait installed at U.S. Embassy in Ukraine when it was available

November 25, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch refused to hang President Donald Trump’s photo in the embassy in Kyiv for over a year and a half.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Yovanovitch did not refuse to have the president’s photo hanging in the embassy. 

THE FACTS: Trump claimed Friday on Fox that Yovanovitch would not hang his photo in the embassy.

“This ambassador that everybody says is so wonderful, she wouldn’t hang my picture in the embassy,” he said. “OK? She’s in charge of the embassy. She wouldn’t hang it. It took like a year and a half or two years for her to get the picture up.” 

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Following Trump’s interview, social media users began sharing the claim that Yovanovitch refused to hang Trump’s photo in the embassy in Kyiv. 

But Yovanovitch, who was pushed out of her job in late April, isn’t the reason the portrait was not on display. Trump’s official portrait for display in federal facilities was not released until October 2017, according to The Associated Press. 

Yovanovitch’s attorney, Larry Robbins, told the AP that the embassy in Kyiv installed Trump’s official portrait, along with those of Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “as soon as they arrived from Washington, DC.”

Other embassy officials tweeted, confirming that their photos of Trump did not arrive until later in 2017.

Lewis Lukens, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in London, tweeted Friday: “I was in charge of the US embassy in London for much of Trump’s first year. We didn’t hang his picture either. Why? It took the WH almost 15 months to get official photos sent to embassies to hang. And we were instructed not to print other photos.”

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536