Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Image Altered to Show KKK Members with Trump Sign


Quick Take

A doctored image on social media shows members of the KKK carrying a Trump-Pence campaign banner. The original image, which predates President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign by several years, does not.


Full Story 

Facebook users are sharing an altered image to take aim at President Donald Trump’s reelection and encouraging others to “vote Blue in 2020.”

The image, part of a meme that was shared most recently by a page called “Trump Sucks,” falsely depicts members of the Ku Klux Klan carrying a Trump-Pence sign.

“America, I believe this is all you need to know about why you should vote Blue in 2020,” the meme reads.

A reverse image search led us to news reports using the unedited image and crediting Getty Images. We then found the original through Getty.

The actual photo was taken in July 2009 — long before Trump even launched his 2016 presidential campaign — at a march in Pulaski, Tennessee, recognizing the birthday of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general who became the first grand wizard of the original KKK.

The actual sign being carried in the picture reads, “Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”

During the 2016 campaign, former KKK leader David Duke announced his support for Trump. After initially claiming that he didn’t know Duke, Trump later said, “I disavow” the endorsement.

Trump was also criticized by some for his remarks following a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which a neo-Nazi plowed his car into protesters demonstrating against the white nationalists and killed one woman, Heather Heyer.

While some of Trump’s remarks — including that there was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” — drew criticism, the president later explicitly condemned “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

At least one other altered version of the same image was edited to depict the klansmen carrying signs in favor of the anti-fascist activist group Antifa.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

Farley, Rob. “Trump Has Condemned White Supremacists.” FactCheck.org. 11 Feb 2020.

Nathan Bedford Forrest.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed 3 Mar 2020.

Platt, Spencer. “Ku Klux Klan Holds Annual Gathering In Tennessee.” Getty Images. 11 Jul 2009.

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act.” White House. 12 Aug 2017.

Statement by President Trump.” White House. 14 Aug 2017.

Trump, Donald (@realDonaldTrump). “As I stated at the press conference on Friday regarding David Duke- I disavow.” Twitter. 28 Feb 2016.