Trump's team circulates altered Joe Biden pic to make him 'look older' after projecting him as ‘lonely figure'

A user posted, 'Trump Campaign is A/B testing this ad on Facebook: one with an authentic photo of Joe Biden and the other clearly altered to make him look older. Absolute trash.'


                            Trump's team circulates altered Joe Biden pic to make him 'look older' after projecting him as ‘lonely figure'
Trump and Biden (Getty Images)

With the presidential election now less than two months away, the campaign of incumbent Donald Trump has escalated its attack on the Democratic challenger Joe Biden. In the past, the president’s election campaign has projected the former vice president either as a China sympathizer or a ‘lonely figure hiding in his house basement’ or as someone who has adopted far-Left ideas with no answers for real problems. It even tried to show last month that Biden has a cognitive decline. And now the campaign's Facebook advertising has circulated a manipulated image of the former vice president. 

A user shared on Twitter, "The Trump Campaign is A/B testing this ad on Facebook: one with an authentic photo of Joe Biden and the other clearly altered to make him look older. Absolute trash."



 

This Thursday, September 3, an active ad on the social media platform used a picture of the veteran which was edited to make him look older with his skin appearing unhealthy and showing dark blemishes, Newsweek reported. Trump and his allies have always been critical of Biden’s health and mental state with the president often mocking his opponent as “Sleepy Joe”. If elected, Biden will become the oldest president in the history of the country at the age of 78 on January 20, 2021. He will eclipse the record of Trump who became the oldest incumbent in 2017 at the age of 70. 

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden puts on a mask after speaking during an event about affordable healthcare at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)

The latest ad appears to focus on data collection, requesting Facebook users to fill out a poll claiming the “fake news media will never report accurately on his [Trump's] standings in the polls against Sleepy Joe.” A number of pre-poll surveys have shown Biden leading Trump in a number of key states which means the incumbent has a lot of ground to cover if he hopes to win the second term. 

As per the Newsweek article, Trump’s campaign told The Huffington Post that it had used a filter to treat Biden’s picture but stopped short of explaining the reason. As per the social media platform’s ad directory, messaging that got over on September 3 used an unedited version which showed Biden having fairer skin. 

Trump mocked Biden for wearing mask regularly

This week, Trump mocked Biden over his regular wearing of the mask amid the coronavirus pandemic that has affected more than six million people in the country and killed over 187,000. Moments after encouraging his supporters to wear the mask, the president, who himself did not care to wear one, mocked Biden’s mental health saying: “Have you ever seen a man who likes a mask as much as him? It gives him a feeling of security. If I were a psychiatrist, I’d say this guy has got some big issues.”

Trump’s own health has come under serious public scrutiny ever since he paid a surprise visit to Walter Reed medical facility last November. His annual physical was released by the White House in June and even though it has repeatedly said that the president’s health is in top shape, there is speculation that he suffered “mini-strokes”. The president hit back at the reports saying the media was spreading false news because it wants him to “be on Biden’s physical level”. 

Also in a tweet that he posted on September 1, Trump said: “It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate - FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!”



 

The same day, Trump’s campaign reacted to the speculation over Trump’s alleged stroke which was raised by former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart who asked in a tweet: “Did @realDonaldTrump have a stroke which he is hiding from the American public?”



 

To that, the campaign hit back, bringing in Biden: “Lockhart single-handedly sank the John Kerry campaign and now he's doing the same to Joe Biden from a distance.”



 

The Democratic presidential nominee replied to Trump’s mask taunting by posting on Twitter an image of himself with a face covering and writing: “The President has a duty to set an example.”

The Trump campaign has been criticized in recent times for uploading media across the mainstream social media that has been said to be manipulated. White House social director media Dan Scavino tweeted a video that showed Biden was asleep during a TV interview but it was found to be fake. The footage was later removed by Twitter in response to a copyright complaint.



 

Harry Belafonte, the Jamaican-American singer-activist, who was actually in the interview clip which was doctored to make fun of Biden, reacted angrily by telling the New York Times: “They keep stooping lower and lower. A technical glitch in an interview I did nine years ago now becomes another one of their lies, more of their fake news. I beg every sane American—please vote them out.”

Again on Monday, August 31, a misleading post from the president’s campaign “War Room” Twitter account was flagged by Twitter and labeled as containing “manipulated media”. The short clip showed the former veep saying “you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America!” and the War Room account was unapologetic for posting it. 



 

In the actual version, Biden was found mimicking quotes from President Trump and his deputy Mike Pence. “‘You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America’. And what's their proof? The violence we're seeing in Donald Trump's America,” the former Delaware senator actually said.

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