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Fact check: Image claiming to show Joe Biden with White House press secretary has been altered twice

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The claim: Image shows Biden groping Jen Psaki

An image shared on Facebook has been altered to show President Joe Biden groping a woman resembling White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

"Soooo, let's (circle) Back to How you got that JOB Jen?" the caption reads. 

Since being posted May 14, the image has been shared over 700 times.

USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.

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But the photo spreading online is actually the result of two different alterations of a 2013 photograph.

Psaki not in original photo

The photo has gone through two rounds of digital manipulation: the first to move Biden's hands onto a woman's breasts, and the second to add Psaki's face.

There are multiple versions of the image. Some of them share more blatant implications that Psaki was inappropriately touched.

The original photo shows Biden hugging then-White House correspondent Amie Parnes from behind, his hands on her waist. Parnes' hands are on top of Biden's, and both are smiling. The original photo was posted to Parnes' Facebook page, according to a Today article, but it's no longer there.

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The photo was taken during a 2013 holiday party at the vice presidential residence in Washington, D.C. Biden's wife, Jill Biden, and NBC producer Chris Donovan are also in the picture, Today also reported.

In 2013 image, Biden's hands at reporter's waist

The manipulated image was first published by World News Bureau, a self-described satire website, on Dec. 16, 2013.

In that first alteration, the website moved Biden's hand onto Parnes' breast, and added a bottle of liquor to Biden's pocket.

The World News Bureau website has a disclaimer toward the bottom of the home page that reads: "This is fictitious satire and any resemblance to persons, places, or events is coincidental."

The image went viral on Facebook in 2017, when it received nearly 250,000 shares and 5,500 comments. Its caption read: "Gropin' Joe Biden with a woman not his wife. Why isn't the media on his case? Oh yeah, 2020 is coming."

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It resurfaced again in 2019.

Biden faced claims of inappropriate behavior

The Psaki/Parnes manipulated image is not the only one of its kind.

World News Bureau has shared other doctored images of Biden that portray him groping women, including one with Stephanie Carter, the wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

The manipulated images of Biden play on previous accusations that Biden behaved inappropriately toward women.

In April 2019, when Biden announced his candidacy for president, Tara Reade, who had been an aide when he was a senator, accused him of "inappropriate touching." In April 2020, she filed a police report alleging Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993. Biden's campaign denied the assault took place, USA TODAY reported.

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In a two-minute video following Reade's initial allegations in 2019, Biden said he often gets close to people when talking to them to show he cares about them and that he's listening.

"It's the way I've tried to show I care about them and I'm listening," he said. "The boundaries of protective personal space have been reset, and I get it. I understand. And I'll be much more mindful, that's my responsibility."

Our rating: Altered

We rate ALTERED an image showing Biden groping Psaki. The original photo, taken in 2013, shows Biden hugging a White House reporter with his hands on her waist. That image has been manipulated to show Biden's hands on the reporter's breasts and then manipulated again to add Psaki's face, who wasn't in the original picture.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Image claiming to show Joe Biden with Jen Psaki is altered

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