Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

Republic of Korea/Flickr Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA) Remix by Jason Reed

Fake photo of Trump staring down Putin at G20 summit fools thousands

The Photoshop forgery should have been immediately apparent.


Andrew Couts


Posted on Jul 10, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 12:26 am CDT

The old adage “don’t believe everything you see on the internet” is doubly important when it comes to anything related to President Donald Trump and Russia.

Take, for example, a photo that went viral over the weekend of Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin chatting with other world leaders at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Anyone with a keen eye for Photoshop manipulation would instantly spot this picture as doctored. The lines around Putin are all wrong, as is his size and his proximity to the man behind him. Those who did realize the photo as a fake soon put out the word—but not before the hoax image received thousands of shares around the internet.

It’s unclear who created the Photoshopped image. However, as Gizmodo points out, a pro-Kremlin Russian journalist, Vladimir Soloviev, shared the photo early on, and he has since deleted the Facebook post after getting mocked for sharing the fake.

Trump and Putin did chat at the G20 summit, but they did so primarily during a two-hour meeting behind closed doors. The leaders discussed a ceasefire in Syria and a joint Washington–Moscow “cybersecurity unit.” Trump briefly mentioned the U.S. intelligence community’s findings that Putin orchestrated “influence campaigns,” including cyberattacks, intended to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton‘s chances against Trump in the 2016 election.

Putin has denied any involvement in the 2016 election meddling, which Russia claims Trump has accepted. Trump has repeatedly waffled on his support for the intelligence community’s assertions that Russia was the sole actor in the 2016 cyberattacks.

H/T Gizmodo

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*First Published: Jul 10, 2017, 12:36 pm CDT