The White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently faced a massive backlash on Twitter after she tweeted a photo of President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet inside the situation room, accompanied by a caption:
“Last night the President put our adversaries on notice: when he draws a red line he enforces it. (Inside the Situation Room as President is briefed on Syria – Official WH photos by Shealah Craighead).”
The problem? The stark black-and-white photo was not taken at the time Sanders tweet implied, but two days prior. The clue that tipped off internet sleuths concerned Vice President Mike Pence, who (though he appears in the photo) was in actuality visiting Peru.
Molly Knight to respond, “That is an incredible photo Sarah given that Pence was in Peru.”
Last night the President put our adversaries on notice: when he draws a red line he enforces it. (Inside the Situation Room as President is briefed on Syria – Official WH photos by Shealah Craighead) pic.twitter.com/GzOSejdqQh
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) April 15, 2018
Sander’s recent tweet is not the first time Mike Pence has appeared on Twitter in a misleading or decontextualized image. Last year, Pence posted a photo showing him and his wife at a Colts game, tweeting, “Looking forward to cheering for our @Colts & honoring the great career of #18 Peyton Manning at @LucasOilStadium today. Go Colts!” But again, the photo was dated. It was nearly three years old, recycled from a 2014 tweet.
After he posted the misleading photo, Pence walked out of the game, in a supposed protest over protests. In a statement, Pence made his motives for the walkout plain: “I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
In that context, the preceding tweet of a 2014 Pence at a game caused some commentators to label the following walkout as a “cheap, transparent stunt.”
Huckabee Sanders issued a clarification for her misleading tweet, writing that the “photo was taken Thursday in the Situation Room during Syria briefing.” The original tweet spent nearly 12hrs live without the followup.