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Photo does not show President Reagan meeting with the Taliban

October 24, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: Photo shows former President Ronald Reagan meeting with Taliban leaders during his presidency.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo, taken in 1983, shows Reagan meeting with Afghan mujahedeen. The Taliban did not emerge until 1994. 

THE FACTS: A Twitter user posted the photo on Sept.7, implying that Reagan met with the Taliban. “NeverTrumpers: A President meeting with the Taliban, this is horrific!” More than a thousand Twitter accounts reposted the photo with the false caption. It also circulated on Facebook.

The falsely captioned photo began circulating on social media this week after President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban that were set at Camp David, just a few days before the 9/11 anniversary. 

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According to information with the photo on the Reagan library and museum website, the photo shows Reagan meeting in the Oval Office with Afghan “freedom fighters” to discuss Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.

For years, the photo has been used with false captions that identify the men as Taliban.

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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