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How fast can the presidents car go?

World leaders have ridden in US president’s limo

U.S. President Joe Biden walks with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, at his arrival to the Felipe Angeles international airport in Zumpango, Mexico, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. On Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, The Associated Press reported on false claims that Lopez Obrador was the first foreign leader to ride in the presidential limo. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

U.S. President Joe Biden walks with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, at his arrival to the Felipe Angeles international airport in Zumpango, Mexico, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. On Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, The Associated Press reported on false claims that Lopez Obrador was the first foreign leader to ride in the presidential limo. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CLAIM: When Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador rode in the U.S. presidential limousine sometimes referred to as “the beast,” it marked the first time a foreign leader traveled in the vehicle with a U.S. president.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Several world leaders have traveled in the U.S. presidential Cadillac, including French President Emmanuel Macron, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinz Abe and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

THE FACTS: President Joe Biden’s visit to Mexico this week for a summit of North American leaders began with a ride in his heavily armored presidential limousine sometimes referred to as “the beast.”

Biden and López Obrador rode together in the vehicle, chatting while driving into Mexico City, according to Associated Press reporting .

Social media users responded to news reports of the drive with false claims that it was “unprecedented” or abnormal for a foreign president to travel in the presidential limousine.

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“It’s the first time that a foreign leader travels on board with a U.S President,” one Twitter user wrote.

“President Biden and past US presidents travel the world and are met by host leaders, but the protocol is that POTUS always rides alone or with family/staff in the Beast,” wrote another. “Tonight in Mexico there’s a break in that protocol with President Lopez Obrador aboard the presidential car.”

But news reports over the years confirm several foreign leaders have shared the vehicle with U.S. presidents.

For example, in 2017, then-President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron rode together in “the beast” to the presidential palace in Paris, the AP reported at the time.

Also in 2017, photos from AP and other news agencies show that the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rode in the presidential limousine with Trump during a visit to a Florida golf resort.

Former President Barack Obama also shared the vehicle with a world leader. A photo released by the White House in 2010 shows Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev together inside the car.

The AP didn’t find evidence to support claims of a “protocol” stipulating that only the president, his family and members of the White House team can use the vehicle.

In response to an AP request for comment, the Secret Service said that ” due to the need to maintain operational security, the U.S. Secret Service does not comment on the means, methods or resources used to conduct our protective operations.”

Associated Press writer Ali Swenson in New York contributed to this report.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP .

How fast can the presidents car go?

Fall 1998: The President’s Motorcade

One of President Clinton’s favorite activities is traveling around the country to meet and talk to America’s citizens. He relies not only on airplanes and helicopters, but also on the presidential motorcade to get him safely and quickly from place to place. The President’s official vehicle in a motorcade is maintained by the United States Secret Service, and the support vehicles are maintained by the White House Military Office. These limousines and other vehicles are designed to provide the Commander in Chief with all the necessary equipment to handle emergency situations.

The President’s Limousine

William McKinley was the first U.S. President to ride in an automobile, but it was during Theodore Roosevelt’s Administration that the first government-owned car, a white Stanley Steamer, came into use. President Taft so fancied the «horseless carriage» that he cleared out the federal stables to make a garage. Woodrow Wilson rode to his 1913 Inauguration in a horse-drawn carriage but once in office proved an enthusiastic fan of motorized travel, even joining the American Automobile Association. President Warren Harding was the first to ride to his Inauguration by car, a Packard Twin-Six, and the first qualified driver to be elected President.

In 1950, the White House received ten specially built automobiles — including a convertible with a Plexiglas roof, nicknamed «Bubbletop,» which served Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and carried John F. Kennedy to his Inauguration.

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«The President’s Own»

If you’ve ever seen the President in person or at an official event on television, you may have heard «Hail to the Chief» playing in the background. The President has his own band to play that song and many American favorites. This special group of some 160 Marine Corps members, known as the United States Marine Band («The President’s Own»), provides music for the President and his guests at official and social occasions at the White House, and frequently performs for American citizens.

«The President’s Own» provides music for one of the many official events at the White House.

For over 200 years, Presidents, their visitors, and millions of Americans have enjoyed the music of the Band. «The President’s Own» made its White House debut at a reception given by President and Mrs. John Adams on New Year’s Day, 1801, and since that time the Band has furnished music for every President. It traveled with President Abraham Lincoln when he delivered the Gettysburg Address and played at the dedications of the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

There are many stories about «The President’s Own.» President Rutherford Hayes, not liking to stay up late, used to instruct the group to play «Home Sweet Home» right after White House dinners, hoping his guests would take the hint and leave. President Warren Harding loved music and could play several instruments; on many occasions he joined the musicians during rehearsals. «The Marine Band is the only force that cannot be transferred from the Washington area without my express permission,» President Kennedy once declared. A musician himself, President Clinton enjoys listening to the Band.

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«The President’s Own» holds a special place in our Nation’s heritage, and we can be proud that it has carried the rich sounds of America around the world. The music the Band plays is a stirring reminder of our history and the great traditions of the American Presidency.

The President’s Motorcade

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