It has only been seven days into the new year and President Donald Trump has flipped the country upside down by assassinating Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and then threatening to target Iranian cultural sites on Twitter. To say it’s been a lot is an understatement.
Instead of taking the situation seriously or considering the toll President Trump’s actions will take on Iranians and American troops, Republican congressman Paul Gosar shared an image of former president Barack Obama shaking hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Except it wasn’t Rouhani because the two had never met. The image was photoshopped.
The world is a better place without these guys in power. pic.twitter.com/gDoXQu9vO5— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2020
Remember, this is a person tasked with making the most important decisions for our country and our citizens.
It’s disgusting that a U.S. representative would disseminate misinformation like this.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) January 6, 2020
CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski was one of many journalists to point out the photoshopped image, with Kaczynski’s call-out tweet getting two times the likes as Gosar’s original tweet.
Damn these numbers pic.twitter.com/1ywpuMgIL7— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) January 6, 2020
Kaczynski later tweeted an image showing how bad Gosar’s tweet got ratioed.
Today in two stories:— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 6, 2020
First a GOP lawmaker posts a B.S. photoshopped pic, defends himself by saying "no one said this wasn’t photoshopped"
Then the Iraqis receive a letter indicating the US would withdraw troops, and Pentagon says it was a "draft" that shouldn't have been sent
GOP Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted a photoshopped image of Obama with Rouhani, apparently believing Rouhani is actually Soleimani.— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) January 6, 2020
The actual image is of Obama and Indian PM Manmohan Singh. pic.twitter.com/CfO8AhyBq0
How sad is it that a member of Congress tweets a photoshopped image? Obama and Iran's Rouhani spoke by phone but never met in person. https://t.co/HTifrQ95tE— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 6, 2020
This is fake, photoshopped image.— Myke Cole (@MykeCole) January 6, 2020
Spread by a Republican US Congressman.
They believe in nothing. They stand for nothing. They will stop at nothing. https://t.co/GaX5Z8aF5x
Gosar responded to being called out by doubling down on the image, arguing that he’d never said it wasn’t photoshopped.
1. To the dim witted reporters like @dmedin11: no one said this wasn’t photoshopped. No one said the president of Iran was dead. No one said Obama met with Rouhani in person.
The tweet says: “the world is a better place without either of them in power”. https://t.co/zwLPPXniQh
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2020
2. The point remains to all but the dimmest: Obama coddled, appeased, nurtured and protected the worlds No. 1 sponsor of terror. The world is better without Obama as president. The world will be better off without Rouhani.
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2020
How low we've fallen. A Republican member of Congress tweets a fake, photoshopped image of Pres. Obama purportedly meeting an Iranian leader. When caught in this Soviet-style disinformation, the Congressman's defense is: "no one said this wasn't photoshopped." https://t.co/r9f0CC8NrK— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) January 7, 2020
The backlash on Twitter was swift as users called for Gosar to delete the photoshopped image.
At the time of writing, Gosar’s tweets are still live.
1. This photo is fake (photoshopped)— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 6, 2020
2. The man on the left is Hassan Rouhani, who is still President of Iran
3. It's embarrassing that you are a United States Congressman https://t.co/ikREslNV3K
The tweet says the world is a better place without either one in power but Rouhani is still in power.
You really don’t get to call anyone else “dim witted”
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) January 6, 2020
The GOP’s commitment to the distribution and trafficking of misinformation is alarming.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 6, 2020
This is a sitting member of Congress sharing a photoshopped image of President Obama.
Congressman, this is disgraceful and shameless act, do better! https://t.co/v6wzJhF2jq
Apparently, the @GOP is resorting to circulating photoshopped images to spread hate and propaganda. (Also, Rouhani is still in power.)— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 7, 2020
Remember this moment when you come across photos on social media.
Take a breath. Do your own research. And don’t participate. https://t.co/Ne6dYPTotv
Take this photoshopped lie down. You can’t get justice with lies. It’s why they say TRUTH and Justice. You are a misguided fraud. On ANOTHER note, how often should I replace my night guard? https://t.co/m7Wi3jXBpB— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 7, 2020
Many people pointed up that Gosar is up for re-election in 2020.
2020 might have some surprises in store for you.
— Jason Andrews (@PersuasionRisng) January 6, 2020
Term limits. Let’s support his Democrat opponent, Delina DiSanto. pic.twitter.com/l7rABV38Et
— Mare (@Oaksgirl01) January 6, 2020
— JerriLynn (@Jerri_Lynn25) January 6, 2020
Maybe the best part out of all this is that users kept pointing out that his own family doesn’t like him.
Remember when your whole family starred in that attack ad against you? That wasn’t photoshopped, right? https://t.co/oDdXrFYEKn— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 6, 2020
This video never gets old or wrong …
Arizona’s Gosar family asks voters NOT to re-elect their brother to Congresshttps://t.co/Eh0yxZ3CPL
— Denise Shearin (@DeniseShearin) January 6, 2020
You should use your photoshop skills to place you in a picture with your family since they don’t want anything to do with you.
— YS (@NYinLA2121) January 6, 2020
Even his mother doesn’t like him.
— Sylvia Righteous Llama Donoghue (@TheDoubtful) January 6, 2020