2020 Presidential Race

Fact Check: Trump Ad Features Edited, Out-of-Context Biden Photos

The ad was posted on social media sites on Wednesday

In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020, left, and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2020.
AP Photo, File

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has released an ad that features edited and out-of-context photos to illustrate Joe Biden "hiding" in his basement rather than taking questions from reporters on the campaign trail.

The narrator of the 30-second ad, which was posted to YouTubeTwitter and Facebook on Aug. 5, says: "Deep in the heart of Delaware, Joe Biden sits in his basement. Alone. Hiding. Diminished. Refusing to answer questions about the crazy far-left ideas he’s adopted."

But when the narrator says "alone" and "hiding," a photo is shown of Biden — Trump’s presumptive Democratic challenger — sitting on the floor at a watch party for a college football game in December 2019. The uncropped photo shows he was neither "alone" nor "hiding" at the gathering, which was held at the home of Coralville, Iowa’s mayor and attended by Biden supporters and members of the press.

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The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, called out the Trump campaign for using the
"unauthorized and altered Gazette photo to criticize Biden."

In addition, when the ad’s narrator says the word "diminished," a photo is shown of Biden, wearing tinted shades and rubbing his forehead, in what looks like it could be a basement. But, as CNN reported, it’s actually an edited photo of Biden at an outdoor campaign event — also in Iowa — in September 2019. In the original photo, which was taken by Mark Peterson for Politico Magazine, Biden is holding a microphone and there are trees in the background.

It is a fact that Biden, amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, has done very few public events while campaigning to become the next president. Instead, he has spent a lot of time doing interviews and virtual town halls from the basement of his home in Delaware, which was converted into a makeshift media room or studio back in March.

But neither of the photos mentioned above shows Biden in his basement, and the Trump campaign did not tell us why those images were used in the ad.

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