Baseless claims of John Fetterman body double still circulating online | Fact check

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The claim: Video proved John Fetterman has a body double

A Sept. 12 post (direct link, archive link) shared on X, formerly Twitter, includes a video of Sen. John Fetterman responding in jest to a question about the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

“Who believes this is Fetterman or a body double? I say body double!” reads the post's caption.

Other versions of the claim on Instagram and X claimed the man in the video wasn't Fetterman because the Democratic Pennsylvania senator's distinctive arm tattoos weren't visible.

The Instagram post was liked more than 500 times in five days.

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Our rating: False

Fetterman's appearance varies like anyone based on camera angles, lighting, facial hair and other factors. There is no legitimate evidence Fetterman has been replaced by a body double, and the supposed missing tattoos cited by some posts are clearly visible in parts of the original video.

Fetterman's tattoos are reminders of Braddock citizens

The original video of Fetterman includes frames that show the inside of his arms, where some of his tattoos are located. Fetterman wrote about the tattoos in a Sept. 25, 2022, opinion piece for NBC News, when he responded to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson who had called them “fake.”

His right forearm displays the dates of when nine people were violently killed in Braddock, Pennsylvania, while Fetterman served as mayor.

“My decision to mark these deaths with tattoos was inspired in part by their permanence – the fact that these people, their stories and my town will be with me forever,” Fetterman wrote.

On his left forearm is “15104,” Braddock’s ZIP code.

Fetterman has long been the subject of a false conspiracy that after he suffered a stroke while campaigning for the Senate in 2022 he was replaced by a body double – a notion Fetterman himself has poked fun at. Like anyone, Fetterman's appearance may look different from time to time due to lighting and angles in photos or videos as well as changes to facial hair.

Fetterman was most recently re-elected in November 2022, when he defeated television personality and Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.

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USA TODAY reached out to Fetterman’s office for comment but did not receive a response, and the user who shared the post on Instagram declined to provide more information.

PolitiFact and AFP also debunked this claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sen. John Fetterman does not have a body double | Fact check