Fact Check

Does This Photo Show Trump and Epstein with Underage Girls?

The duo's longstanding friendship has raised eyebrows before.

Published Jul 14, 2023

 (Image Via Screenshot via Twitter)
Image Via Image Via Screenshot via Twitter
An unearthed photograph shows Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein with underage girls.

While authentic photographs of the pair do exist, this image was generated by AI technology.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump's personal ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier charged with the sex trafficking of underage girls, are well-documented. During the trial of Epstein's accomplice, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, one victim recounted being introduced to Trump by Epstein when she was just 14 years old. 

In 2016, "Katie Johnson" AKA "Jane Doe" brought civil charges against Trump and Epstein, alleging that they had sexually abused her at the latter's New York City apartment in the summer of 1994, when she was a young teen. At least one witness, supposedly a former employee of Epstein, was to testify as a witness. Doe withdrew her case for reasons not publicly stated.

What we can say for sure, however, is that the widely circulated photograph below, which allegedly depicts Trump, Epstein, and a group of what appears to be underage females, is fake. It has all the trappings of an image generated using AI technology. 

A closer look at the picture shows a number of irregularities associated with AI-generated images — for example, the wonky hands, which appear distorted and disproportionate. Meanwhile, the hand draped on pseudo-Epstein's shoulder looks like it's holding an amorphous, floating, fleshy blob, and Epstein seems to have no legs.

The earliest versions of the photograph found by Snopes surfaced on May 8, 2023, on Twitter. A report from fact-checking site Lead Stories claimed the post dates back to May 7, but those versions seem to have been deleted or are otherwise inaccessible. Lead Stories also ran the image through a subscription-based AI detection program, which flagged it as a likely fake.

Another version of the photograph also circulated, as early as May 9, that appeared to adjust some of these errors.

In this version, Epstein's wide smile has been replaced with a reserved grin. He leans in towards Trump, the fleshy blob noticeably absent and legs suddenly present. The faces and positions of the people sitting around the pair also appear in different positions. It's crisper and clearer. 

However, AI's clear calling cards remain. A blonde woman who has suddenly materialized between Trump and Epstein appears to be a floating bust. The fingers on her right hand apparently defy logic, as do those on the left hand of her newly visible companion.

Finally, given the celebrity of both Trump and Epstein, photographs like this would likely have surfaced before 2023, or at least from sources more reliable than a handful of Twitter and Imgur users. For these reasons, we find both versions of the photograph to be fake. 


Fact Check: Trump, Epstein Photos With "Underage" Women NOT Authentic -- They're AI Generated | Lead Stories. 9 May 2023, https://leadstories.com/hoax-alert/2023/05/fact-check-old-photos-of-donald-trump-with-underage-young-women-are-not-authentic-ai-generated.html.

Sarah Baum is a former reporting fellow for Snopes.