Fact Check

No, This Is Not a Real Photo of Trump Being Arrested

A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict Donald Trump, according to breaking news reports.

Published Mar 20, 2023

Updated Mar 22, 2023
Image Via Twitter
An image shared to Twitter on March 18, 2023, authentically showed former President Donald Trump being arrested at Mar-a-Lago.

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 (The tweet has since seemingly been deleted, though an archived version can be found here.)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:

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.


Beavers, Olivia & Carney, Jordain. "McCarthy Pushes Back against Trump's Calls for Protests: 'We Want Calmness out There.'" Politico, 19 Mar. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/03/19/mccarthy-trump-protests-calmness-00087795.

Dixit, Pranav. "AI Image Generators Keep Messing Up Hands. Here's Why." BuzzFeed News, 31 Jan. 2023, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/ai-generated-art-hands-fingers-messed-up.

Gregorian, Dareh. "A Manhattan Grand Jury Has Voted to Indict Trump." NBC News, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/manhattan-grand-jury-voted-whether-indict-trump-rcna73588. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

"https://twitter.com/YesMachiavelli/status/1637526226419191808?S=20." Twitter, https://twitter.com/YesMachiavelli/status/1637526226419191808?s=20. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Meyer, Josh. "Is Donald Trump Likely to Be Arrested Soon? Will He Be Indicted? What We Know." USA Today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/03/18/what-we-know-donald-trump-indictment/11498610002/. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Novak, Matt. "Viral Images Of Donald Trump Getting Arrested Are Totally Fake (For Now)." Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattnovak/2023/03/19/viral-images-of-donald-trump-getting-arrested-are-totally-fake/. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

"Truth Social." Truth Social, https://truthsocial.com/@realDonaldTrump/posts/110044039949982181. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.


March 22, 2023: This report was updated to include a screenshot of the archived tweet with the image after it was seemingly deleted.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.