Donald Trump Jr. shared a doctored image that made his father’s Gallup presidential approval rating look 10 points higher than it actually is.
Apparently President Trump recently claimed that he had “better [approval] numbers than Obama at this point, by far.” In an attempt to fact check the Gallup approval rating, CNN’s news anchor, John King, pulled up a graphic based on presidential approval polls and various economic measures.
While Trump dominated his predecessor in terms of the deficit, employment rates and gross domestic product (Barack Obama became president during a deep recession, King noted), he clearly lagged behind Obama on the top line: Trump had a 40 percent approval rating, compared to Obama’s 45 percent at the same point in his presidency.
Yet, King wasn’t the only reporter to prove Trumps assertions wrong.
The image was a still frame someone pulled from CNN’s video and pasted a “50%” where “40%” had been. The picture fueled Trump supporters’ to holler “fake news” once again and eventually caught the eye of the nation’s first family.
“Amazing,” Trump Jr. wrote. “I guess there is a magic wand to make things happen and @realdonaldtrump seems to have it. #MAGA #amreicafirst.”
But within minutes, people began to inform Trump Jr. that something was wrong.
“Yes, that ‘magic wand’ is Photoshop’s Magic Wand tool,” a follower wrote to Trump Jr., referring to the software of choice for fake photo makers.
Furthermore, the edits on the photo were obvious. The “50%” was oddly placed not centered with the text on the original CNN graphic, in addition to its background being a different shade of red. Also, if zoomed in, one could see the original “40%” was still visible behind the fake number.
However, Trump Jr. did not acknowledge the several requests to correct the obviously manipulated image after he posted it to Instagram late Wednesday. It’s still unclear how Trump Jr. found the fake image, or why he decided to share it. But by Friday mid-afternoon, the altered image was deleted from his Instagram account.