Left-leaning Twitter users are claiming that a recent photo of Donald Trump was edited to make the former president appear thinner. But an examination of the photo by the Daily Dot yields no such evidence.
The photo, which shows Trump exiting a vehicle before boarding his airplane at the West Palm Beach International Airport on Saturday, was widely shared by conservatives this week following the former reality TV star’s appearance at a campaign rally in Waco, Texas.
Critics of the presidential hopeful were quick to argue that the image appeared manipulated, suggesting that image-editing software such as Photoshop had been used to decrease the size of Trump’s waist.
“Y’all so weird with these ‘heroic’ edits of him,” one user wrote. “Imagine if people did this for Hillary, Joe or Bernie. Giving them amazing bodies + whatever. You creepy cult mfrs.”
Others alleged that the picture made it appear as if Trump had suddenly lost 60 pounds.
“That’s not him!” another wrote. “Or extremely photoshopped! He’s still FAT.”
Conservative supporters of Trump such as Blake Marnell, best known for wearing a brick-patterned suit intended to resemble a border wall, leaped to the defense of the presidential candidate in response.
“This photo of President Trump is breaking liberal’s brains because they think it’s ‘edited’ or fake,” he tweeted. “It’s not. It’s 100% real.”
The Daily Dot was able to locate the original photo, taken by Associated Press photojournalist Evan Vucci, and compare it to the image circulating on Twitter. The comparison suggests that other than some slight changes to the saturation when the AP’s watermark is removed, Trump’s body has not been altered in any way.
The Daily Dot reached out to Vucci to inquire about the photo he took but did not receive a reply by press time.
In a statement to the Daily Dot, a media relations representative for the AP confirmed that the photo being shared on Twitter was from their outlet.
AP’s photo standards also state that altering or digitally manipulating is prohibited. Exceptions include minor edits such as cropping photos or eliminating dust or scratches from images.
“Changes in density, contrast, color, and saturation levels that substantially alter the original scene are not acceptable,” the AP adds. “Backgrounds should not be digitally blurred or eliminated by burning down or by aggressive toning. The removal of ‘red eye’ from photographs is not permissible.”
Although the Trump administration released photos of the leader that were edited to make him thinner and have longer fingers during his presidency, no evidence suggests the current photo was manipulated in such a way.