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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 20, 2023

These are not real photos of a Donald Trump arrest

If Your Time is short

  • These photos were fabricated. Former President Donald Trump hadn’t been arrested when they were first shared online. 

On the morning of March 18, former President Donald Trump said on his social media platform Truth Social that he would be arrested on March 21. That evening, alleged photos of Trump’s arrest and mug shot were circulating on social media. 

But they’re fabricated.

Trump hasn’t been arrested, though he could be if a Manhattan grand jury indicts him in connection with hush money paid to a woman who said she had sexual encounters with him.

Yet the fake mug shot and other fabricated images that showed him being led away by police were getting hundreds of thousands of views on Twitter after they were posted March 18.  

Since the photos were posted on social media, Trump has continued to post claims about a looming arrest from his Truth Social account, including calling on supporters to protest. 

The images themselves have clues indicating they’re not authentic. Artificial intelligence struggles to capture the human hand, and that’s evident in one image of Trump flanked by police officers while wearing a blue suit and red tie. Officers gripping his arms appear to be missing fingers. 

In another image of this same alleged arrest, Trump appears to be wearing different clothing: a black suit and a blue tie. His fake mug shot, meanwhile, shows a jumble of numbers in the background that don’t appear to be meaningful in any way. 

The photos initially were shared by two accounts. One is a self-described parody account of political activist James O’Keefe. The other describes itself in its bio as an "a.i. whisperer Threatening democracy." 

We rate claims that these are authentic photos of Trump’s arrest False.


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These are not real photos of a Donald Trump arrest

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