Man wasn’t sniffing vice president at March Madness game
CLAIM: Video shows a man sniffing Vice President Kamala Harris at an NCAA Tournament game.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A video clip of the moment was distorted to misrepresent what was happening. A wider shot of the moment, which can be found in a full replay of Thursday’s Kansas vs. Howard matchup, shows the man is leaning forward to briefly communicate with a woman behind Harris’ left shoulder.
THE FACTS: After Harris’ appearance at Kansas University’s 96-68 first-round win against Howard University, some social media users began sharing a clip where the camera had zoomed in to focus on a man in a light-colored suit jacket, suggesting he leaned in briefly to get a whiff of the vice president.
“Some dude just got caught on live television sniffing Kamala Harris,” reads one tweet.
Another states: “Could this guy be the next Hair-Sniffer-in-Chief? Just got Caught training with Kamala on national TV!”
The five-second clip cuts from a shot of the crowd in the Wells Fargo Arena to Harris watching the game from a suite with 5:59 left in the second half. At this point, a man behind her leans forward briefly and looks as if he is trying to smell the vice president.
But a full replay of the game includes a wider shot of the moment, which makes it obvious that the man is leaning forward to listen to what a woman to his left is saying.
A spokesperson for Harris did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thursday’s game marked Howard’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1992 and its third in the school’s history. Harris, who graduated from the historically black university in 1986, visited the players in their locker room after the game with her husband, Doug Emhoff, where she congratulated them on their hard work.
Although No. 16 seed Howard took the lead five times in the first half, No. 1 seed Kansas came out 28 points ahead by the end of the game.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.