Pictures of Joe Biden and VP celebrating Trump indictment are fake

Copyright © AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved.

A pair of images are circulating online with claims that they show US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrating Donald Trump's indictment. This is false; the White House confirmed to AFP that the images -- which appear to be created with artificial intelligence and show Harris with six fingers -- are inauthentic.

"Photos reportedly show President Biden celebrating in the White House as news broke of the Trump indictment," says the March 31, 2023 tweet shared in reply to a post from conservative activist Jack Posobiec, who then amplified the photos to his more than two million Twitter followers.

One image appears to show Biden dancing inside the White House. The other purports to show him and Harris hugging in a smiling embrace.

Screenshot from Twitter taken April 3, 2023

The pictures followed a New York grand jury's vote on March 30 to indict Trump over hush money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016, making Trump the first former or current US president to face criminal charges. The ex-president, who is vying to retake the White House in 2024, was expected to be arraigned in court April 4.

But the images are not real, the White House confirmed to AFP.

"They are inauthentic," White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in an April 3 email.

Reverse image searches returned no credible sources sharing the pictures as genuine.

On the contrary, the images include signs that suggest they were AI-generated. Harris's left arm appears to disappear beneath Biden's, for example, and her right hand has six fingers.

"The second image is clearly created with generation models such as Midjourney v5," Siwei Lyu, director of the Media Forensic Lab at the University of Buffalo, told AFP in an email. "Note that Harris' hand has six fingers -- the current generation models seem to have troubles getting the hands created correctly."

On March 30, the day the images were supposedly taken, Harris was in Tanzania as part of a three-nation tour of Africa. The vice president posted about the trip on Twitter.

Asked about the indictment outside the White House the following day, Biden repeatedly refused to comment.

AFP has debunked other AI-generated images, including here and here.