Chelsey Cox, USA Today
The claim: Child pictured sitting on Obama’s lap is a ‘pedovore’ victim
A picture of former President Barack Obama holding a little girl in his lap has become the subject of various social media claims suggesting the girl was victimized.
A viral version of the claim posted to Facebook on Sept. 13 is a meme of the picture. The president, who has his face turned into the girl’s neck, is described in the meme as a “pedovore.”
The term has origins in QAnon conspiracy theories, according to a Twitter hashtag, and is an apparent combination of “pedophile” and “carnivore.”
“Pedovores befriend their prey then restrain them, scare them senseless, hurt them for the release of maximum Adenochrome, then drink the blood from the child while still alive, eventually causing cardiac arrest, after death they consume the child,” the meme says.
The meme is part of another claim posted to Facebook by the same user on the same date. In it, a girl is pictured on a boat with Obama and actor, George Clooney. The caption is simply, “#WWG1WGA.”
USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.
What does ‘WWG1WGA’ stand for?
An acronym for “Where We Go One We Go All,” the phrase is a well-known slogan among QAnon loyalists, according to an Amazon author page. It is also used as a collective pen name for contributors to the QAnon field guide, “QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening,” sold on Amazon.
An Amazon review of another QAnon book, “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump,” mentions WWG1WGA, adenochrome and “pedovores” in just the title.
“Enlighten yourself to the disgusting corruption of the swamp and Obama’s treason against our country,” wrote a reviewer called “Zach.”
What is adenochrome?
Adenochrome is an oxidized byproduct of adrenaline, according to an article published by the American Chemical Society. Some biotech companies sell the chemical to researchers, and it is prescribed in some countries to promote blood clotting, according to the National Library of Medicine.
But conspiracy theorists claim adenochrome is a psychedelic drug harvested by the “global elites” to fuel Satanic rituals in which participants drink the blood of children, per a report by The Daily Beast.
A secret video rumored to be stored on former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop allegedly shows former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Weiner’s ex-wife, Huma Abedin, performing such a ritual, according to The Daily Beast.
The theory, called “Frazzledrip,” gained so much traction on YouTube that Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, was questioned by the House Judiciary Committee two years ago on whether YouTube’s algorithms contributed to the spread of conspiracy theories, Vox reported.
Who is the girl photographed with Obama?
The girl sitting on Obama’s lap in the claim is his niece, Savita Ng, the daughter of Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.
The picture, dated Dec. 4, 2015, was taken by White House photographer Pete Souza, according to the Obama White House flickr account.
“The President snuggles with his niece Savita Ng after his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her family dropped by the Oval Office,” says the accompanying caption.
An older picture of Obama with a baby Savita is available on the White House flickr page. She is again identified as his niece.
But pictures of the Obama family on a boat ride at Lake Como, Italy with actor George Clooney and his wife, Amal Clooney, were used to build on the “pedovore” conspiracy theory. Suspended Twitter account @WinstonCovfefe appears to be a source of the rumor.
“What was going on then? Why does it look like Clooney was zipping his pants back up? Why does #Obama look stunned? Who is the very young girl?” @WinstonCovfefe wrote in a now-archived postwhich featured a picture of Clooney apparently touching his stomach while standing near Obama and a young girl.
It is not known whether girl on the boat is Obama’s niece, but there is some evidence the Ng family joined the Obama’s on the trip. A picture dated June 25, 2019, and geo-tagged “Lake Como, Italy” was posted to the Instagram account of Obama’s brother-in-law, Konrad Ng. It is archived here.
Matteo Bazzi, photographer for Italian news agency ANSA, told AFP News he took the pictures of the Obamas and Clooneys on the boat and said nothing suspicious happened.
“I was not aware of this gossip,” Bazzi said, according to AFP.
Our rating: False
We rate this claim FALSE, based on our research. The girl in the initial claim is confirmed to be Obama’s niece. A “pedovore” is QAnon conspiracy theory terminology and there is no evidence of Obama engaging in inappropriate behavior with a child on a trip to Italy.
Our fact-check sources:
- Santa Cruz Biotechnology, accessed Sept. 30, 2020: “Adrenochrome (CAS 54-06-8)”
- National Library of Medicine, accessed Sept. 30, 2020: “Carbazochrome”
- Amazon author page, Customer Review, accessed Sept. 30, 2020: “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump”
- Vox, Dec. 14, 2018: “YouTube’s conspiracy theory crisis, explained”
- @WinstonCovfefe archived tweet, July 9, 2019
- AFP Fact Check, Aug. 14, 2020: “Conspiracy theory falsely links Obama to sexual misconduct”
- Konrad Ng archived Instagram post, archived Aug. 13, 2020
- Just Jared, June 24, 2019: “George Clooney & Barack Obama Hang Out Together in Italy!”
- USA TODAY, June 24, 2019: “Barack Obama and George Clooney take a boat ride on Lake Como”
- Obama White House flickr, accessed Sept. 30, 2020: “The President snuggles with his niece Savita Ng after his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her family dropped by the Oval Office”
- Obama White House flickr, accessed Sept. 30, 2020: “President Barack Obama helps his niece, Savita, as she begins to walk towards the President’s personal aide Reggie Love in the Oval Office, Sept. 17, 2009”
- The Daily Beast, Aug. 14, 2020: “How QAnon Became Obsessed With ‘Adrenochrome,’ an Imaginary Drug Hollywood Is ‘Harvesting’ from Kids”
- USA TODAY, Aug. 24, 2008: “Obama’s half sister bears witness to solid upbringing”
- The American Chemical Society, July 14, 2014: “Oxidation of Epinephrine to Adrenochrome by Cetyltrimethylammonium Dichromate: A Mechanistic Study”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Girl with Barack Obama in viral posts is his niece