Fact check: Post falsely claims to show neighbors standing by as FBI raided Rudy Giuliani


The claim: Image shows Rudy Giuliani’s neighbors watching FBI raid

An image shared on Facebook claims neighbors stood by and watched as the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on April 28. 

The image, shared the same day, shows a smiling woman in a fur coat holding a glass of wine. “Rudy Giuliani’s neighbors watching the FBI raid,” says the caption.

FBI agents raided Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment and offices on April 28 amid an investigation of his business dealings in Ukraine. The investigation has been ongoing since early 2019.

Agents arrived at Giuliani’s home at 6 a.m. and seized up to eight personal electronic devices, Giuliani told Fox News April 29.

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The image has been shared nearly 400 times on Facebook, however, it does not show Giuliani’s neighbors. 

USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.

Image taken at DC protest in 2017 

The image was first shared by The Daily Mail in 2017 as part of a series of photographs from a dance party protest in the Kalorama neighborhood in Washington, D.C. 

The original image shows Dianne Bruce, the woman in the fur coat, and other residents taking pictures of the protesters.

 A Facebook event said the protest, held the evening of April 1, was a “Queer dance party for Climate Justice.” The description told protesters they would meet at Dupont Circle and walk to Ivanka Trump’s house in Kalorama to “send the clear message that our climate and our communities matter.”

“It was about people getting everyone together because they feel frustrated, and they all had big smiles on their faces. It was a celebration of freedom really and truly,” Bruce told Time in an interview.

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USA TODAY didn’t find any pictures or videos of Giuliani’s neighbors during the raid. One neighbor told reporters the FBI “took a lot of stuff.”

Bruce’s image gone viral

The image of Bruce wearing a fur coat while drinking wine caught social media users’ attention, as they created and shared memes that made the image go viral in the days following the 2017 protest.

One Twitter user used the photo and added the caption: “Me: I hate drama. Me when there’s drama.” It has been retweeted roughly 1,800 times.

Other users identified themselves with Bruce.

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“I’m the woman in the fur coat drinking wine,” one user said.

“Loving the vibe of the woman in a fur coat drinking white wine at a protest,” another one said.

And writer Gabe Ortíz tweeted: “The neighbor watching the LGBT protest in front of Ivanka Trump’s house while drinking white wine is definitely invited to gay brunch.” Ortíz’s post has been retweeted  more than 3,000 times.

Our rating: False

We rate the claim that an image shows neighbors watching as FBI agents raided Rudy Giuliani FALSE, based on our research. The image was taken during a protest in Washington, D.C., in 2017, and shows a woman watching outside her home in a fur coat drinking wine.

Our fact-check sources:

  • USA TODAY, April 28, Rudy Giuliani’s apartment raided by feds, accelerating inquiry into Ukraine dealings; warrant served on DC lawyer
  • USA TODAY, Oct. 15, 2019, Federal investigators have been looking into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine since early 2019
  • Fox News, April 30, Rudy Giuliani joins ‘Tucker’ after FBI raid, claims agents showed no interest in Hunter Biden hard drives
  • The Daily Mail, April 2, 2017, Anti-Trump LGBTQ protesters march on Ivanka’s $5m house in DC: Hundreds invade neighborhood for ‘Queer Dance Party for climate Justice’ to the FURY of her rich neighbors… but she was far away
  • Facebook, April 1, 2017, Queer Dance Party for Climate Justice at Ivanka Trump’s House!
  • Time, April 4, 2017, Meet the Woman Who Was Sipping Wine in a Fur Coat at an Ivanka Trump Protest
  • The Recount, April 28, tweet
  • Southern Homo, April 3, 2017, tweet
  • Gabe Ortíz, April 3, 2017, tweet
  • Hunter Ross, April 3, 2017, tweet
  • K8, April 3, 2017, tweet

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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

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