One longstanding rule to avoid ridicule on the internet is to not be photographed holding a sign or sheet of paper with a simple background. As former First Lady Michelle Obama, Bill Gates and actor Harrison Ford have all learned, these images can be easily manipulated.
President Donald Trump was subjected to similar treatment after he was photographed holding an executive order he had signed in January 2017. Internet users altered this image to make it appear as if the president had signed a number of ridiculous (and fake) executive orders, including one that involved his daughter Ivanka and chametz, or leavened foods that are forbidden during Passover:
I Donald J. Trump, with this executive order, hereby purchase the entirety of my daughter Ivanka’s Chametz. Payment of 10 dollars has been transferred to her in exchange for this chametz
This is not a real executive order signed by President Trump. The original photograph was taken on 23 January 2017 by Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque, and it showed President Trump holding a Presidential Memorandum concerning the reinstatement of the “Mexico City Policy“:
Among the three executive orders President Trump signed Monday was one reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which deals with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and abortion access.
The Mexico City Policy was originally announced by President Reagan in 1984 and required nongovernmental organizations to agree as a condition of receiving any federal funding that they “would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”
We can’t show the original Reuters image due to copyright, but the image can be viewed here. You can also see another, similar photograph from Getty Images that shows President Trump holding the same real “Mexico City Policy” executive order at a slightly different angle.
At the beginning of 2018, another edited moment appeared following this tweet from President Trump:
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
A day later, a video apparently mocking the tweet was uploaded by Occupy Democrats:
Updated to add a 3 January 2018 video.
CBS News. “What is the Mexico City Policy?”
23 January 2017.
The White House. “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy.”
23 January 2017.