Fact Check

Is This an Authentic Photo of Trump and Epstein on a Private Plane?

The lead-up to the unsealing of the Epstein "list" saw an influx of AI-generated images.

Published Jan 9, 2024

 (Image via X account @lisa_liberal)
Image Via Image via X account @lisa_liberal
Claim:
A photo authentically depicts Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein seated together on a private plane

Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and convicted child sex trafficker who was found dead by suicide in 2019, has been seen in numerous authentic photos with former U.S. President Donald Trump, as we've previously reported. However, one particular image depicting Epstein and Trump seated next to each other on what appears to be a private aircraft, was generated using artificial intelligence (AI) software. In the lead-up to the release of the Epstein "list," dozens of similarly fake images were generated.

The image was posted on numerous X (formerly Twitter) accounts, with one post by account @lisa_liberal racking up more than 405,300 views and 4,700 likes (the image in question is displayed on the left below.

The second image (on the right) in the tweet above depicting Trump and his two oldest children next to Epstein is actually authentic, as we've reported.

Commenters pointed out the dodgy appearance of the image in other X posts, with one saying: "No fan of Trump, but that picture is obviously fake." "Worst photoshop/ai I have seen. Do better," another said.

When run through AI detection software Illuminarty, the results came back with 99.4% AI probability. When checked with Hive, another AI detection program, the result came back as 100% likely to have been AI-generated, as shown below.

(Image via Hive)

Lastly, when the image was searched using the Google Images reverse-image search tool, the vast majority of results were X posts, with a remaining few originating from other social media platforms. If this were a credible and authentic photo, other major outlets would have reported on the photo and we would be able to find the photographer or company that owns the image.

The relationship between Epstein and Trump has long been under intense scrutiny, with the recent anticipation of a court-ordered release of a list of names in connection with Epstein only intensifying the spread of misinformation on the internet.

Sources

Google Lens. https://lens.google.com/search?ep=gisbubb&hl=en&re=df&p=AbrfA8p8U5fGlkQ9un1GQRIkif2jq5WC3Nr5uSc5mB_mHvmM4YwAk8HXm58ifFdXfl6kh8-84hmR668DII9BmNdu54griGMWLnMOISRLwG5nAQx3jiqLAJzrwzd6o4S91Xz1XQyMQmBWg5Drr6jdgwx_8egzYwYpbRhGJuqg0RSF9ZJ4YqQTjgg1BGSkWAyykKMjtiIjuD-eYIlIOg%3D%3D#lns=W251bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLG51bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLDEsIkVrY0tKRFE0WlRJNFpHUXdMVEF4WXpZdE5EWTVPQzA0WXpneUxXVm1NVGt6TVdJMVlXWTNZaElmYnpNdGFrRXhRaTAyZGpoV2MwNXBYM3AxVm1GWlRWZHlhRkZZUlhwQ1p3PT0iLG51bGwsbnVsbCxbW251bGwsbnVsbCwiaXAtNTEiLG51bGwsNTRdLFsiOTM0ZDg5NDAtNDQwZC00M2Q3LWI1ODctODg1ODY1NWU2NmI1Il1dLG51bGwsbnVsbCxudWxsLFtudWxsLG51bGwsW251bGwsWzAsMCwxMDAwMDAsMTAwMDAwXV1dXQ==. Accessed 2 Jan. 2024.

‘Https://Twitter.Com/Lisa_liberal/Status/1742180678207201746’. X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/lisa_liberal/status/1742180678207201746. Accessed 2 Jan. 2024.

Izzo, Jack. ‘A Quick Guide to the Jeffrey Epstein Documents Unsealed on Jan. 3, 2024’. Snopes, 4 Jan. 2024, https://www.snopes.com/news/2024/01/04/jeffrey-epstein-unsealed-document-guide/.

Taija PerryCook is a Seattle-based journalist who previously worked for the PNW news site Crosscut and the Jordan Times in Amman.