J.K. Rowling Claims that President Donald Trump Refused to Shake the Hand of a Disabled Boy


Fact Test - False

The claim(s):

On July 28, 2017, author J.K. Rowling released a series of tweets alleging that U.S. President Donald Trump refused to shake the hand of a disabled boy named Monty Weer.

The truth:

This claim came from a video of a press conference from July 28, 2017, wherein President Trump gave a speech about the Affordable Care Act and healthcare in the United States. The video which Rowling referenced came from a tweet (now removed) by actor Ansel Elgort, which apparently depicted Donald Trump ignoring Monty as the boy attempted to shake Trump’s hand as he was walking out of the press conference.

A full version of the video, however, was later released which showed that President Trump greeted Monty, and that this part was cut out of the video widely disseminated on social media, thus casting doubt on Rowling’s assertions.

It is on this basis that we rate this claim as false.

UPDATE (July 31, 2017):

Mediaite has reported that J.K. Rowling has removed her tweets criticizing President Trump over the aforementioned “deceptively edited video” and apologized.

Politifact has also rated her claim as false in an article entitled: “J.K. Rowling falsely accuses Trump of not shaking disabled boy’s hand.”

Furthermore, they noted that an image, shared by British journalist Piers Morgan, depicts the mother of the boy, Marjorie Weer, addressing Rowling in a post on Facebook and stating: “Trump didn’t snub my son & Monty wasn’t even trying to shake his hand.”

The image went on to say that Monty is three years old and not one for shaking hands, and that the boy was “showing off his newly acquired secret service patch.”

Politifact traced the image to a Reddit post from July 30, 2017, but could not independently verify that “Marjorie Weer had actually written it on Facebook.”

BizPacReview.com presented an image of Weer’s post and the boy holding his patch here:

marjorie-kelly-weer-slams-j.k.-rowling-mom-disabled-boy-trump
(Source: BizPac Review)

3 thoughts on “J.K. Rowling Claims that President Donald Trump Refused to Shake the Hand of a Disabled Boy

  1. Hi. Nice article well written. However there are some discrepancies. For starters your link to the archive of the clip doesn’t seem to work. Tho the source it links to the youtube video does work on youtube. Perhaps just link to the youtube video instead of going to a middle man site?

    Then the claim was that Trump never shoot the boys hand, not that he ignored him, tho he did seem to snub him twice at the end. At the beginning of the clip it never actually shows him touch the boy. It only shows trump bend down to speak with him and apparently give him a thumbs up. His body pretty much blocks the whole interaction. So to say the claim is false and that he did shake his hands seems to be based on an assumption from him bending down to hear and then speak to the child. Do you have any other proof he shook the boys hand? Perhaps a photograph from a better angle? I have looked everywhere and have not been able to find one. I’m not disparaging you or the president. I’m simply saying so far the evidence isn’t clear and it would benefit greatly. Until then it seems to be an assumption that could go either way, a proverbial Schrödinger’s handshake as it were.

    Again Nice job but would appreciate clearer evidence. Thanks.

    • Your objection is noted and here for anyone to read.

      However, our rating remains, and the article has been updated as of today to reflect new information regarding the event; namely, that J.K. Rowling has admitted her fault and apologized.

      As for the YouTube video, we are aware that archived videos may not be playable as an archived page, but readers may copy the links from the “saved from” of the archives and view them normally.

      Thank you.

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