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Photo does not show President Reagan meeting with the Taliban

September 10, 2019

CLAIM: Photo shows former President Ronald Reagan meeting with Taliban leaders during his presidency.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo, taken in 1983, shows Reagan meeting with Afghan mujahedeen. The Taliban did not emerge until 1994. 

THE FACTS: A Twitter user posted the photo on Sept.7, implying that Reagan met with the Taliban. “NeverTrumpers: A President meeting with the Taliban, this is horrific!” More than a thousand Twitter accounts reposted the photo with the false caption. It also circulated on Facebook.

The falsely captioned photo began circulating on social media this week after President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban that were set at Camp David, just a few days before the 9/11 anniversary. 

According to information with the photo on the Reagan library and museum website, the photo shows Reagan meeting in the Oval Office with Afghan “freedom fighters” to discuss Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.

For years, the photo has been used with false captions that identify the men as Taliban.

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This article is part of The Associated Press’s data verification effort to combat misinformation that is shared online, and includes a collaboration with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of fake news circulating in this social network.

Here you will find more information about the Facebook data verification program:

https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536

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