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False: This photo does not show Trump shedding a tear after the US elections


(Editor's note: this article is first published by Annie Lab, a fact-checking project by Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong and Asian Network of News and Information Educators (ANNIE), and written by Jerome Lizambard.)

A tweet claiming to show a close-up photo of U.S. President Donald Trump shedding a tear was posted on Nov. 14 with a sympathetic comment in Chinese suggesting this is somehow related to the results of the recent presidential election.

The tweet reads:
“这是多大的委屈才会当众落泪,希望我们大家不要辜负他!愿上帝与我们同在!阿门!”

It translates to English as: “What a grievance it is to shed tears in public, I hope we all don’t fail him! May God be with us! Amen!”
The tweet generated more than 894 retweets, 187 quote tweets and 4,800 likes. The same image was shared by another Twitter account and also on LIHKG.

However, the image has been altered from a news photo from Getty Images. In the original picture, Trump is not crying. His right eye is not red.

Taken by AFP photographer Nicholas Kamm, the caption for the photo says: “Trump speaks to the press in the Oval Office at the White House after receiving a briefing from top law enforcement officials on operations against the MS-13 gang in Washington, DC, on July 15, 2020.”

Screenshot of Trump's image, courtesy of Getty Images

The misleading social media posts emerged after Trump’s supporters trooped to Washington D.C., to protest the results of the elections, where Trump lost to Democratic rival Joe Biden.

It appears Trump’s supposed tear was added and the redness of his eye was accentuated.

This original news photo is part of a series and CNN also published it on the same day.

Another photo taken by Reuters on July 15 also shows the same moment at a closer angle. There is no tear in this image, either.

Screenshot of Reuters image, courtesy of Reuters

Disclaimer: This is a student work. Although faculty members at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong have done everything possible to verify its accuracy, we cannot guarantee there are no mistakes. If you notice an error or have any questions, please email us at [email protected].


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