Fact check: Altered Hunter Biden photo falsely claims Trump won the 2020 election
The claim: Image shows Hunter Biden painting 'Trump won Democrats cheated'
It's been eight months since Election Day, and some Republicans are still falsely asserting the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump via widespread voter fraud in states he lost.
Following Trump's address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas – in which he repeated debunked election falsehoods – claims that "Democrats cheated" resurfaced on social media.
On July 16, Trump's son Eric took to Facebook to share a purported image of Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, painting a sign that says, "TRUMP WON DEMOCRATS CHEATED."
Within hours, his post accumulated more than 30,000 reactions and 4,000 shares. USA TODAY reached out to the Trump Organization for comment.
The same image also made its way to meme sites and Reddit with the caption, "Latest artwork from Hunter Biden."
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Image is altered
The photo circulating online has been manipulated from an authentic image of Hunter Biden painting a blue abstract piece of artwork.
The original photo first appeared in a June 14 article from Artnet News about Biden's career painting and selling his art after battling with addiction. The outlet reported that his work includes elements of poetry, geometric abstractions, painting and photography.
The doctored version of the photo on social media superimposed the words "TRUMP WON DEMOCRATS CHEATED" onto Biden's painting and added white paint to the brush he was using.
We spoke to Hunter Biden about his new life as a full-time artist, and his personal quest for ‘universal truth’ through painting: https://t.co/3FvBxKkfDL pic.twitter.com/eSnX2OCIZs
— Artnet (@artnet) June 14, 2021
In a February 2020 interview with The New York Times, Biden said art is something he's "taken seriously for a long time but hasn't necessarily been for public consumption."
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When it was announced that his work was going on sale this fall in a New York gallery for $75,000 to $500,000, critics raised ethical concerns and said his art wouldn't sell for as much if he had a different last name.
Biden won the presidential election
Not only is the image altered, but it also falsely claims that Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
Joe Biden beat Trump by over 7 million votes. He secured a total of 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232. Candidates must win 270 votes to be elected president.
Claims of dead people voting, more votes than eligible voters and "glitched" voting systems have all been debunked, along with other election falsehoods. An array of recounts and election audits have confirmed in state after state that the votes were accurately tabulated.
Additionally, election security officials described the 2020 election as "the most secure in American history."
NEW: A joint statement from the Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and Sector Coordinating Council Executive Committees regarding the 2020 general election:
➡️https://t.co/67zl9rGsxz#TrustedInfo2020 #Protect2020 pic.twitter.com/SqjbMnQnXH
— NASED (@NASEDorg) November 12, 2020
There has been no evidence of election fraud in Biden's favor, and courts in battleground states have dismissed multiple lawsuits from the Trump campaign alleging electoral fraud.
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Congress certified Biden's victory, and then-Vice President Mike Pence officially declared Biden the winner on Jan. 6, after a deadly pro-Trump riot took place at the U.S. Capitol.
Our rating: Altered
An image claiming to show Hunter Biden painting "Trump won Democrats cheated" is ALTERED, based on our research. The original photo shows him creating an abstract painting, and the image was manipulated by someone to make it appear as if he was writing that Trump won the election. Claims that Trump won have been repeatedly debunked, and Joe Biden legally won the 2020 election. There has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Our fact-check sources:
USA TODAY, Dec. 15, 2020, Fact check: Joe Biden legally won presidential election, despite persistent contrary claims
USA TODAY, Dec. 8, 2020, Trump lost the 2020 presidential election
Artnet, June 14, tweet
Artnet, June 14, We Spoke to Hunter Biden About His Life as a Full-Time Artist, and His Personal Quest for 'Universal Truth' Through Painting
George Bergès Gallery, accessed July 16, Hunter Biden
The New York Times, Feb. 28, 2020, There's a New Artist in Town. The Name Is Biden.
The Washington Post, July 8, Deal of the art: White House grapples with ethics of Hunter Biden's price paintings
USA TODAY, Jan. 26, 2020 Election Results & Maps
USA TODAY, Nov. 8, 2020, Fact check: No evidence that 14,000 dead people cast ballots in Wayne County, Michigan
USA TODAY, Nov. 8, 2020, Fact check: States don't have more than 100% voter turnout in an election
USA TODAY, Nov. 10, 2020, Fact check: Wisconsin county did not have a glitch that stole votes from Trump
USA TODAY, Nov. 17, 2020, What's true about the 2020 election, vote counting, Electoral College
USA TODAY, Nov. 12, 2020, Election security officials: 'No evidence voting systems comprimised'
USA TODAY, Jan. 7, Congress certifies Biden's electoral college win
The Washington Post, Jan. 7, Pence declares Biden winner of presidential election after Congress finally counts electoral votes
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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Photo of Hunter Biden is altered; Trump lost the election