Debunk This by Matt Palumbo

Once again a ridiculous lie has made it halfway around the world before the truth has woken up.

This lie/conspiracy theory came from Barack Obama’s former photographer Pete Souza, but claimed that the iconic Situation Room photo of Trump and others watching the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was staged. To support his “theory” he simply made up a timeline that would make it impossible for the photo to be legitimate, claiming that the raid happened at 3:30pm in Washington D.C. time, while the photo was taken just after 5pm.

One big problem: he literally made up the “fact” that the raid occurred at 3:30.

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As Reuters reported:

On Saturday, Trump arrived back at the White House at around 4:30 p.m. local time (10:30pm in Syria) after a round of golf in Virginia, according to his official schedule. At around 5 pm, he gathered in the White House Situation Room with Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, and other intelligence officials. They watched the raid unfold live “as if you were watching a movie,” said Trump.

Where did Souza get the idea that the raid took place at 3:30pm? Nobody knows, and it’s hard not to assume malicious intent.

The center-left Politifact couldn’t find a single report indicating that the raid started at 3:30pm. “PolitiFact investigated the context of the viral image of Trump watching the Baghdadi raid. All the evidence now available suggests the image was taken around 5 p.m. Washington time, while the operation was still underway.”

Casting reality aside, every alleged journalist spread the original conspiracy like wildfire.

Souza later conceded that its “definitely possible” the photo was taken during the raid in a tweet that got 1/50th the attention of his tweet that prompted these conspiracies (which remains up). He also tried to pretend that he wasn’t claiming the photo was staged, even though that was the only possible interpretation of his initial tweet.

To recap, Souza initially said that the raid occurred at 3:30pm, and the photo was taken at 5:00pm, implying that the photo was staged after the fact. In the follow-up tweet, his logic as to why the photo could be legitimate doesn’t make any sense.  Why would Trump confirming that he arrived at the situation room make it “definitely possible the photo was taken during the raid”? If Souza wasn’t called out on his lie, he probably would’ve cited that as further proof that the photo was staged.

And his initial excuse making, and unable to warp reality any further, Souza simply admitted that he was fake news an hour and a half later.

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And yet his original tweet is up, and continues to be shared far more than his eventual retraction.

Perhaps one could argue that Trump and others were posing for the photograph as the raid occurred, but that’s impossible to determine from the information available. What we know for sure is that this raid didn’t happen while Trump was on at a golf course, only for him to create a propaganda photo afterwards to pretend otherwise.

It’s amazing what lengths liberals will go to in an attempt to discredit Trump for killing the most dangerous terrorist leader of this century, isn’t it?