On Aug. 11, in the transition between Fox News shows “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity,” a photo on-screen appeared to show Judge Bruce Reinhart with Ghislaine Maxwell.
Reinhart is the judge that executed the search warrant that authorized the FBI to search the Florida home of former President Donald Trump. Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to recruit, groom and abuse underage girls.
After the photo aired on the network, some social media users called out Fox News for sharing a “clearly fake, photoshopped image of the judge involved in approving the Mar-a-Lago warrant.”
Is the photo showing Judge Bruce Reinhart with Ghislaine Maxwell real?
No, the photo is not real and has been doctored. The original photo dates back to at least December 2021 and actually showed Maxwell with Epstein.
WHAT WE FOUND
During the Aug. 11 transition between “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity,” Carlson’s guest host, Brain Kilmeade, teased the introduction to Hannity’s show by airing the photo.
In the tease, Kilmeade says: “You won’t believe who he’s [Reinhart] is getting cozy with. We’re going to show you that next.”
Hannity responds at the start of his own show, telling Kilmeade he believed the photo was edited, and that the original photo was of Maxwell and Epstein, not of Reinhart.
In a statement posted to Twitter on August 12, Kilmeade said he showed the photo on the program in jest.
"Last night while subbing for Tucker Carlson, we showed you an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart w/ Ghislaine Maxwell that was sourced on screen to a meme pulled from Twitter & wasn’t real. This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest," the tweet said.
Using a reverse Google image search, VERIFY was able to trace the original photo to news reports from December 2021, and it wasn’t Reinhart in the photo with Maxwell. The original photo shows Maxwell giving a foot rub to Epstein.
“SOLE MATES Ghislaine Maxwell gives Epstein foot massage in creepy never-before-seen pics of their sordid relationship,” said one headline containing the original photo.
Using TinEye, another reverse image search tool, VERIFY was able to compare the original image with the doctored image. The photo that was aired on Fox News was edited to replace Epstein’s torso with a photo showing Reinhart holding a bag of Oreos and a bottle of whiskey.
During the Fox News tease, an Instagram account was credited as the source of the photo. That account, @what.i.meme.to.say, posted the photo on August 10. The biography on the Instagram account says the person is a digital artist and “original meme creator.”
VERIFY reached out to the Instagram user for comment, but had not heard back from them at the time of publication.