Radio personality Mark Simone shared the image in May 2017 with the caption: “Here’s a powerful picture that no news outlet will publish. It took place at a Trump rally when the President met a severely wounded veteran. This soldier lost both of his arms. The feeling of a handshake is lost to him. President Trump realized this, and touched his face so he could feel the human connection.”
While Trump did touch Stevenson’s face, Stevenson is not a wounded veteran. Stevenson was born without arms. According to Online Chester, his right side stops just above his elbow and on his left he has “only a nub below his shoulder.” A GoFundMe set up in 2014 to raise money for two bionic arms also stated that he “was born without arms” and featured a photograph of him as a child.
As you can see below, Simone today posted the same false claim despite having been called out by Snopes years ago. And Trump, of course, gleefully praises this stupid lie.
Thank you Mark! https://t.co/pLpJBFnyNz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2020
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) September 5, 2020
This gentleman is not a wounded veteran. He was born without arms, as Snopes has explained https://t.co/JQm1wQjRLC.
The Trump campaign also wrongly depicted him as a veteran in a 2016 ad…using this photo to replace an image that showed Russian veterans instead of Americans. pic.twitter.com/iYf8pmwZrL
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 5, 2020