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Biden didn’t fall asleep during meeting with Israeli Prime Minister

August 30, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Image shows President Joe Biden sleeping during high-level talks with a foreign head of government.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. News coverage of the meeting shows that Biden was awake and engaged during the meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

THE FACTS: Biden and Bennett met on Friday to discuss a range of topics, including COVID-19 and Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Following the discussion, misleading posts circulated on social media claiming that Biden fell asleep during the conversation. One widely shared post on Facebook post shows an image of Biden with his head down and his eyes apparently closed. Under the screenshot, the image says, “Watch: Joe Biden Caught *Sleeping* During High-Level Talks with Foreign Head of Government.”

But the image is misleading and the description is false. During the 14 minute video taken during the meeting, Biden looks down at his lap several times, including when he’s listening and reading from his notepad. The misleading image is captured in one of these moments, giving the impression that Biden is not fully attentive or asleep.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two men since Bennett was sworn-in as prime minister in June.

Bennett arrived at the White House aiming to dissuade Biden from returning to the Iran nuclear deal that was brokered during the Obama administration and later scrapped by President Donald Trump.


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.