In an effort to dispute the stories about disparaging remarks allegedly made by Donald Trump about fallen military service members, radio personality Mark Simone shared a years-old photo of Donald Trump touching the face of a “severely wounded veteran.”
The image has been shared often on social media, usually with a message referring to the man as a wounded veteran and sometimes inferring that he lost his arms in battle.
But according to the fact-checking site Snopes the man, Henry “Bubba” Stevenson Jr., is not a “wounded veteran:”
Radio personality Mark Simone also shared this 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.”
This is a genuine photograph of Trump briefly touching the cheek of a supporter with two prosthetic arms. However, the accompanying backstory about the supporter being a veteran is inaccurate.
While Trump did touch Stevenson’s face, Stevenson is not a wounded veteran.
According to Online Chester, Stevenson was born without arms. His right limb stops just above his elbow and on his left side 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.”
This post is not an attack on Mr. Stevenson, But Simone tweeting the photo and claim again, years after being called out by Snopes, is intellectually disingenuous in an attempt to help Trump in the middle of a political firestorm.
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