US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware on July 28, 2020 (AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

Trump campaign ad features doctored images of Biden

Copyright © AFP 2017-2023. All rights reserved.

A video ad from US President Donald Trump’s campaign claims to show his Democratic rival Joe Biden hiding alone in his basement. But images it features have been doctored; one actually pictures Biden with a group of people, and another was shot outdoors.

“Deep in the heart of Delaware, Joe Biden sits in his basement. Alone. Hiding. Diminished,” says a narrator in the ad, which was tweeted by the Trump campaign’s official account on August 5, 2020.

A screenshot of a tweet taken on August 7, 2020

The same ad was also posted on Trump’s official Facebook page.

Trump’s campaign has repeatedly accused Biden -- who has limited his public appearances during the deadly coronavirus pandemic -- of “hiding.” The US president has meanwhile campaigned from the White House, and held a controversial rally in June.

In the ad, the words “Alone” and “Hiding” appear on a photo that seems to show an isolated Biden sitting on the floor.

But it has been darkened, and it has been cropped to exclude the group of people who appeared in the original, which was shot by Liz Martin for The Gazette in December 2019. The Iowa newspaper said the image was used without its permission.

Screenshots taken on August 7, 2020 show a doctored image from a Trump campaign ad (top) and the original by Liz Martin of The Gazette (bottom)

The word “Diminished” then appears on another image of Biden, which seems to show him indoors with a hand raised to his forehead.

But the outdoors background in the original -- shot by Mark Peterson for an October 2019 POLITICO article -- has been removed, as has the microphone Biden was holding.

Screenshots taken on August 7, 2020 show a doctored image from a Trump campaign ad (top) and the original by Mark Peterson of Redux Pictures (bottom)

AFP Fact check has previously debunked misleadingly edited videos that Trump has spread of Biden and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer.

US Elections 2020