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- This is an altered image. The original shows the former president holding the phone correctly.
Former President George W. Bush’s intelligence has been the subject of some debate. Opinion writers have weighed in on whether he was smart, or not, or pretended to be less intelligent than he is for political gain. One recent social media post doesn’t mince words.
"If u ever feel u suck at life, just remember George Bush took a photo holding a phone upside down," the Instagram post says. It shows Bush holding a phone receiver to his ear upside-down.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The photo has been altered. A reverse image search led us to the original, taken in March 2003 by then-White House photographer Eric Draper.
The caption says Bush, who was holding the phone correctly, was talking to then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
We rate claims that he was photographed holding the phone upside-down False.
Instagram post, Oct. 3, 2022
Insider, George W. Bush told Mitt Romney that Rick Perry was dumber than he was: book, July 11, 2022
Slate, The Misunderestimated Man, May 7, 2004
New York, Yes, George W. Bush Was a Terrible President, and No, He Wasn’t Smart, April 25, 2013
The Washington Post, George W. Bush wasn’t dumb, but he was still a bad president, April 24, 2013
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