UPDATE: On March 30, 2023, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and other reliable sources reported a Manhattan grand jury indicted former U.S. President Donald Trump on charges related to hush-money payments made to Stormy Daniels, with whom he allegedly had an affair.
On March 18, 2023, amid reports that former U.S. President Donald Trump was likely to be indicted and arrested on charges related to hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, an image spread on Twitter that claimed to show Trump being placed under arrest. We found it wasn't real.
See also: Is This Donald Trump's Jail Mugshot?
"EXCLUSIVE: Trump Arrested in FBI Mar A Lago raid this evening." Twitter user @TheInfiniteDude tweeted on March 18. A photo attached to the post claimed to show Trump escorted by three police officers to a car. (The tweet has since seemingly been deleted, though an archived version can be found here.)
Trump was indicted on March 30, over a week after the image first appeared. The image was made using artificial intelligence (AI).
Even though there was no disclaimer stating that the image was AI-generated, the photo included clear tells.
Midjourney, an AI generator, has been noted to have difficulty generating realistic-looking hands. One of the police officers in the fake image doesn't have an index finger, while Trump's fist is balled into a fist with no fingers visible.
The Infinite Dude posted a Forbes article about how the image was made by AI. The account also claimed to have made other AI-generated images that showed the FBI raiding Mar-a-Lago. We reached out to the account and will update this check if we hear anything back.
Other Twitter users noted that the photo was AI-generated:
this *fake* trump arrest ai generated photo still looks over-stylized and fake and the hands are weird as per usual...but hard not to see how much better this is getting in a short amount of time pic.twitter.com/vR2eNbOdCJ
— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) March 19, 2023
The claim spread the same day Trump himself predicted he would be arrested on March 21. Publications like USA Today and Politico reported the arrest would be in connection with allegations he made hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.