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Biden did not fake driving electric truck

May 19, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: President Joe Biden was caught fake driving a Ford F-150 Lightning truck during a visit to a Ford safety testing center Tuesday. A man in the passenger seat was operating the vehicle using a second steering wheel.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The vehicle Biden drove had only one steering wheel, a Ford spokesperson confirmed. A frame-by-frame analysis of videos from the event shows Biden’s passenger was adjusting a camera that was resting on the dashboard, not steering the truck.

THE FACTS: An article shared thousands of times on Facebook on Wednesday falsely claims that the president faked his Tuesday test drive of an electric Ford truck at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan.

“WOW! Biden Caught Fake Driving -- Someone Else Is Steering Vehicle -- It Was All a Stunt!” a headline on the conservative website The Gateway Pundit read. The story misrepresented videos and pictures to claim they showed a passenger in the truck was steering instead of the president.

There’s no truth to these claims, according to Melissa Miller, manager of government and public policy communications at Ford.

“There was only one steering wheel in the vehicle the president drove yesterday,” Miller said in an email Wednesday.

Photos and videos of the event show that the passenger in the vehicle, who was identified to reporters as a member of Biden’s Secret Service detail, was adjusting a camera that was resting on the dashboard, not operating the car.

Associated Press photos of the inside of the vehicle show the right side of the dashboard was obstructed by a black cloth covering, which car experts say is typical in prototype vehicles before they are released.

“Cloth coverings are very common on the interior of prototype vehicles because they’re designed to hide the dashboard from prying eyes before the product is officially released to the market,” said Billy Rehbock, social media editor at the automotive website MotorTrend.

The Gateway Pundit did not respond to a request for comment.

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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