Fake news? Trump supporters circulate photo of Phoenix rally crowds ... but it's not

Garrett Mitchell
The Republic |
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The Twitter account @TEN_GOP tweeted a photo of the crowd in Phoenix for the Trump rally, but the photo was actually taken in 2016 in Cleveland.

Social media is a glorious place. You see something, it looks cool, and so you retweet it.

And sometimes that gets you into trouble.

Such was the case Tuesday night, when Tennessee Republicans and other supporters of President Donald Trump started sharing an image of what was purportedly a massive crowd gathered in the streets of Phoenix ahead of his speech.

Only problem? The photo is actually an aerial shot from the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers parade.

And frankly, anyone who is at all familiar with Phoenix should have known better. It's a desert, people.

Who really thought Phoenix had that much green?

The image was taken looking down at the intersection of St. Claire Avenue and Ninth Street in downtown Cleveland, along the parade route where tens of thousands celebrated the Cavs NBA title last June.

The photo shows a bird's-eye view of thousands gathered in a downtown area as they waited for the parade for the Cleveland Cavaliers to begin.

The Twitter account @TEN_GOP, which says its an unofficial account for Republicans in Tennessee, tweeted the photo with the caption: "Massive crowd waiting outside for the Trump rally in Phoenix!"

The account is not affiliated with the Tennessee Republican Party.

It was re-tweeted more than 800 times and liked more than 1,000 times. The tweet has since been deleted.

The Twitter account also used the photo for a side-by-side comparison of the anti-Trump crowd versus the pro-Trump crowd, with the "anti-Trump" photo showing a significantly smaller crowd. 

The @TEN_GOP account has deleted this Tweet, which showed a photo that was not taken in Phoenix.

A number Twitter users noticed the misleading tweet and responded to @TEN_GOP, wondering why the original tweet was deleted.

A second aerial image, also alleging to be an aerial view of a massive crowd size at the Trump rally has popped up on Twitter as well. And that image is also from the 2016 Cavaliers parade, albeit from a different angle. 

This isn't the only false photo that made headlines Tuesday; the Arizona GOP was called out by Vice News for using a photo of comedian Margaret Cho to represent Asian Americans on their website.

The shot in question, a promotional photo from Cho's 1994 sitcom "All-American Girl," was featured on the state Republican party's "People" page. 

According to Internet-page-saving website, the photo was accompanied by a break down of various ethnic groups and an introduction.

"As a political party, Republicans offer a universally appealing perspective on the proper role of government -- one based on a genuine recognition of individual equality, fairness, and justice for all," part of the website stated. "We believe it is unfair to demand special rights for certain races, push policies that favor members of one group over another, or single out certain ethnic or social groups with the promise of special favors or political privileges."

A screenshot of the Arizona GOP's "People" page taken at 6:38 p.m., Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

The photo, and the page itself, does not appear to be active as of 6:30 p.m.

No word yet on what the politically-charged comic will say.

In related news: there has also been a lot of activity on Twitter and Craigslist asserting that there are paid protesters at the Trump rally, but the Arizona Republic has not been able to verify any of these claims.


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