A video is circulating on social media in the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter protest in the United States sparked by African American citizen George Floyd’s death due to police violence. The video shows former First Lady Michelle Obama awkwardly accepting a gift from incumbent FLOTUS Melania Trump. Struggling to figure where to place the gift, former President Barack Obama takes it from his wife. The video shows him going back towards the entrance of the White House and tossing the gift to his left.

“Trump took his wife to visit Obama and gave gifts in an attempt to calm the anger of the black people. Unexpectedly, Obama took the gift and dumped it as soon as he turned around,” reads the claim shared with the video.

The clip, which carries the logo of US-based CNN, is massively viral on Twitter. Alt News has also received fact-check requests on its mobile application.

The video has been viral since 2017. It was shared by a comic page on Facebook ‘Blast Avenue’ on January 23, 2017, gathering 22 million views.


Watch til the end 😂😂😂😂😂

Posted by Blast Avenue on Sunday, 22 January 2017

Old tampered video viral

This video was shot in January 2017 when Donald Trump, then President-elect, and his wife Melania Trump visited the White House to meet the Obamas. In the original CNN video, former President Barack Obama does not throw away the gift but hands it over to a White House staffer.

The Obamas greet the Trumps

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet President-elect Donald J. Trump and wife Melania at the White House on Inauguration Day http://cnn.it/2j22dfc

Posted by CNN on Friday, 20 January 2017

Alt News found the above video with a video search on Google with the time frame selected between January 19, 2017, and January 21, 2017. CNN also uploaded a longer version of the event. The part viral can be seen 25 seconds into the broadcast.

The same video taken from a wide shot angle clearly shows (7:12 seconds) Barack Obama handing over the gift to a staffer.

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama explained the awkward gift exchange. She said, “I mean, this is like a state visit, so they tell you that you’re going to do this, they’re going to stand here. Never before do you get this gift, so I’m sort of like okay…’What am I supposed to do with this gift?’ No one would come and take the box and I’m thinking, ‘Do we take the picture with [it]?’ See, he [Barack Obama] grabbed the box and took it back inside.”

A 2017 video of a state visit between the Obamas and the Trumps was tampered with to show the ex-President tossing away the gift handed by First Lady Melania Trump.

[Update: The wide shot video which provides clearer frames was added to the report on June 11, 2020.]

About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.