Rishi Sunak debunks viral video of Joe Biden wandering off at G7 summit

Rishi Sunak has defended Joe Biden after footage that appeared to show the US President wandering off during a ceremonial display.

World leaders gathered for an eye-catching parachute display at the G7 summit in Italy last night, with jumpers bearing the flags of each country. Video footage of the ceremony showed the other leaders applauding the Italian army display – but the US President ambled away.

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni grasped the 81-year-old by the arm and brought him back to the rest of the group, who then gathered around him to pose for a picture. The footage was seized about by Republican groups on Twitter, including RNC Research, which is managed by former President Donald Trump’s campaign. The account tweeted: “WHAT IS BIDEN DOING?”

Joe Biden appeared to wander off during a ceremonial display at the G7 summit

Joe Biden appeared to wander off during a ceremonial display at the G7 summit

But Mr Sunak threw a protective arm around the US President, explaining he had gone to speak to the parachutist with the US flag. Asked if the US President was okay, the PM said: “Yes. I think he he went to go talk to the pilot. I mean, or the parachute. From what I remember, because he went to go and shake all their hands.”

He went on: “He was being very polite. And he just went over to kind of talk to all of them individually and Giorgia (Meloni) was saying ‘Don’t worry, they’re all coming to [us]’. We were meant to line up so they could come and then shake all our hands.” He added: “I had a chat with a guy with the British flag. Everyone wanted to. But they all came to us.”

White House Senior Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates attacked media outlets as “desperate” to distract from Mr Biden’s record as the footage went viral.

He tweeted: “Here, they use an artificially narrow frame to hide from viewers that he just saw a skydiving demonstration. He’s saying congratulations to one of the divers and giving a thumbs up.”