Does this picture prove Trump was 'invited to the cookout?'

People are being fooled by an AI image showing Trump at a barbeque

The photo was also amplified on X by prominent right-wing figures.


Mikael Thalen


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An image that appears to show former President Donald Trump at a barbeque with Black supporters has gone viral on Facebook, leading to claims that the media has ignored the unifying display. But did Trump actually attend this gathering? No.

The image, shared by the account “Donald Trump for President,” shows the former commander-in-chief standing over a BBQ as a crowd of Black supporters look on approvingly.

Text above the image simply states: “CNN will never report on this.”

The photo was also amplified on X by prominent right-wing figures such as conservative commentator Benny Johnson, who likewise argued that “the corporate media” has refused to cover the “important moment.”

Fake AI image of Trump at barbeque spreads

Trump supporters were quick to lavish the image with praise while claiming that it disproved allegations that the former president held racist and bigoted views.

“It sure must have been funny! Trump is really laughing !!” one Facebook user wrote of the smiling Trump. “Great to see he is having a great time!!”

“The Greatest President ever!!!!” another added.

But not everyone was convinced. Many argued that the image had the telltale signs of being created by artificial intelligence (AI).

“CNN won’t report on this because it’s not real,” one Facebook user said in response. “The image is AI generated.”

A closer look at the photo shows numerous issues, including extra fingers on some individuals, as well as gibberish text on clothing items.

Incredibly, the image isn’t new. As noted in USA Today, the image first made the rounds in 2023. Two AI-detection tools and three computer science experts who spoke with USA Today confirmed at the time that the image was in fact AI-generated.

The image appears to have fooled many given that Trump recently held a rally in the Bronx amid his ongoing criminal hush money trial in New York City.

In other words, Trump was not invited to the cookout.

Why it matters

Despite the image being old and previously debunked, recent events, mainly Trump’s Bronx rally, allowed the image to once again fool many online.

While the image was immediately spotted by many as fake, a segment of the population continues to be tricked by AI-generated imagery. And although social media companies commonly fact-check such images, it often happens long after they’ve gone viral.

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