Have Google photos of Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton, previously available on Google Images, been scrubbed and are they disappearing from the web? No, that's not true: The photograph that accompanied this claim shows former President Clinton in a swimming pool with other men, but not accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Ironically, the same photo was used last year in a false effort to link Clinton to another convicted sex offender.
The false claim is spreading virally on social media, including in a post (archived here) published on July 10, 2019 as a meme that read:
Google photos of Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton, previously available on Google Images, appear to have been scrubbed and are disappearing from the webrepost the hell out of this picture and keep it alive!
This is what social media users saw:
The false meme began spreading after federal sex trafficking charges were filed against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was a friend of Clinton and a contributor to the Clinton Foundation before he was investigated in 2005 on sex charges in Florida. Clinton, who flew on Epstein's private jet about 27 times (according to pilot logs obtained by Lead Stories), denied he ever visited Epstein's private caribbean island.
The photograph of Clinton with his arms around the shoulders of two men in a swimming pool were taken in January 2017 in the Dominican Republic.They were published in media reports at the time about the former president's vacation. Jeffrey Epstein is not seen in the image. The man who the meme points to as being Epstein is George N. Nader, an art entreprenuer who lives in the Dominican Republic. He posted the image (minus the big red arrow) on his own Instragram account on November 23, 2017:
Ironically, the same photograph was used by Clinton opponents in 2018 in a false claim that the man with Clinton was convicted sex offender and Donald Trump fundraiser George A. Nader. Wrong Nader!
As for the image disappearing from Google searches, that is also untrue. They're there.