The world is a better place without these guys in power. pic.twitter.com/gDoXQu9vO5
— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2020
False. As lawmakers in Washington and allies around the world grappled with President Trump’s decision to launch a strike that killed Iran’s most important general, an Arizona Republican, Representative Paul Gosar, shared a fake image from his personal Twitter account on Monday purporting to show President Barack Obama shaking hands with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. The two men have never met in person.
What’s more, Mr. Rouhani is still the president, contradicting Mr. Gosar’s suggestion that he is no longer “in power.” The Iranian flag in the background of the photoshopped image also appears to be incorrect, as it is missing the white Arabic script on its top green bar and a red emblem of a tulip in the central white bar.
The original photograph was taken in 2011 and showed Mr. Obama meeting with Manmohan Singh, then India’s prime minister.
“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,” Mr. Gosar tweeted after an outcry over his post, arguing that his point was that “Obama coddled, appeased, nurtured and protected the worlds No. 1 sponsor of terror.”
The fake image has been circulating online since at least 2013, surfacing on Middle Eastern blogs and conservative websites. In 2015, it featured in a TV ad that promoted a Republican senator for his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.