Fox News Cropped Donald Trump Out of Photo With Jeffrey Epstein

The photo was taken at Mar-a-Lago in 2000

Trump, Knauss, Epstein, & Maxwell At Mar-A-Lago
From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.
Getty Images

If you’ve been following the story of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in the aftermath of his death earlier this year, you’re probably aware that Epstein had connections to Donald Trump, among many other powerful people. The recent arrest of Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell has put Epstein back in the news — but it’s also led to a particularly surreal maneuver on the part of one of the networks covering the case.

As Matt Novak at Gizmodo reports, Fox News’s coverage of the arrest included a 2000 image of Epstein and Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago, accompanied by Donald Trump and Trump’s future wife Melania. (It’s the one at the top of this article, in fact.) Fox’s broadcast, however, cropped Trump out of the image entirely. Novak offered speculation as to why the image was altered:

Why would Fox edit the image to exclude President Trump? One guess might be that the conservative cable network doesn’t want to draw the ire of the president, who is known to spend countless hours each day watching TV, according to people like former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Given that Fox News has come under criticism for its restrained or nonexistent coverage of issues where the Trump administration looks bad, that someone there would remove Trump from this photograph is not exactly shocking. More surprising is the fact that it was used at all; there is no shortage of photos of Epstein and Maxwell, after all.

Unless, of course, the brazenness of the edit is the point; proof of concept that a network can pull off its own “Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia” moment.

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