An edited photo that appears to show President Donald Trump floating in a raft, extending a red Make America Great Again hat to a flood victim, has gone viral in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
As New York Times reporter Kevin Roose pointed out on Twitter, the pic is a fake ― it was taken in Central Texas in 2015, long before Trump was elected president, and he definitely wasn’t in that raft.
Still, that hasn’t stopped people from sharing the photo more than 275,000 times on Facebook since it was first uploaded on Sept. 16, 2017, according to RawStory.
A photoshopped picture depicting Trump rescuing people during Hurricane Florence has been shared 275,000 times on Facebook. The original is from Texas flooding in 2015. pic.twitter.com/woWuPuqSSy— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) September 24, 2018
The original photo ― which can be found on CNN’s website ― actually depicts three rescuers with the Austin Fire Department reaching out to help a man clinging to a chain-link fence.
Snopes pointed out that it’s fairly easy to figure out that the photo is a fake because Trump isn’t wearing a life vest ― unlikely during a dangerous flood ― and presidents generally do not personally take part in rescue operations after disasters.
And though the president has actually thrown paper towels at hurricane victims, you could argue that a MAGA hat isn’t the most helpful thing to offer a person stranded in waist-high water.
Roose said he couldn’t figure out why Facebook would allow such an obviously fake photo on its platform.