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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 10, 2023

Photo doesn’t show a deputy U.S. marshal behind President Joe Biden at the State of the Union

If Your Time is short

  • This isn’t a deputy U.S. marshal, a U.S. Marshals Service spokesperson said.

From U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah scolding fellow Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos of New York, to speculation about a misfired kiss, maybe you missed another moment primed for political gossip: A deputy U.S. marshal looming behind President Joe Biden at his recent State of the Union address. 

At least that’s what a recent Instagram post claimed happened. It  shows a man with an official-looking lapel pin standing behind Biden as the president talked to members of Congress after his speech. 

"Last night at the SOTU-Marshals keeping a close eye on the resident," the post’s caption says. 

This 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.)

A call to the U.S. Marshals Service quickly cleared this one up. The photo doesn’t show a deputy, a spokesperson for the agency said, adding that the person looks like a U.S. Secret Service agent. 

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A spokesperson for the Secret Service confirmed the person in the photo is a Secret Service agent. 

The State of the Union is considered a "national special security event," which puts the Secret Service in charge of much of the event’s planning, CNN reported. A Secret Service spokesperson told CNN that the agency "works very closely with all partners to ensure the maximum level of safety during the State of the Union." The spokesperson declined to comment on specifics. 

We’ve previously debunked claims that photos showed Biden surrounded by deputy U.S. marshals. The men in those images were Secret Service agents.

We rate this post False.

UPDATE, Feb. 17, 2023: This story was updated to include remarks from the U.S. Secret Service. 


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Photo doesn’t show a deputy U.S. marshal behind President Joe Biden at the State of the Union

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