A picture of Barack Obama sporting a beard is going viral across social media, but some sharp-eyed internet sleuths have found the source of the popular hoax.
The former president has been making a slow return to the public eye in recent months, increasing his public appearances and campaigning after spending several months decompressing from an exhausting eight years in the White House. Obama has also sat down for an interview with fellow retiree David Letterman and started to publicly take on Donald Trump’s policies after remaining silent for a long time.
As Obama’s return continues, there is a photo going around showing what apparently he was doing in his time away — growing a full, gray beard. The photo of Obama sitting down for an interview and sporting a beard is going around online, the Global Grind noted.
It was a drastic change for the normally clean-cut Obama, who never had facial hair in any of his public life. It also appeared to show how much Obama has aged, with the beard looking downright grandfatherly.
Only it wasn’t real at all. As many noted, the photo of Barack Obama sporting a beard was just the work of Photoshop, and some noted that the beard itself was actually the one David Letterman sported in his return to the spotlight.
The photo of Obama sporting a beard can be seen below.
In fact, Barack Obama has said in the past that it’s impossible for him to grow a beard. In a 2006 article in The Hill (via The Huffington Post) about how voters prefer politicians who are clean-shaven, Obama noted that he isn’t able to grow facial hair, saying it only comes out in whiskers.
The Barack Obama beard photo is not the only viral hoax to strike the former president in the past few days. A viral report that circulated this week claimed that Melania Trump conducted an exorcism in the White House to rid the building of demons left by Obama and Bill Clinton. In case anyone could not discern that the story was fake news, Melania’s spokesperson denied that there was any truth to it.