Fact Check: Photo Of Mike Lindell At The Waukesha Wisconsin Trump Rally Is NOT Real -- Digitally Edited

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Photo Of Mike Lindell At The Waukesha Wisconsin Trump Rally Is NOT Real -- Digitally Edited Edited Photo

Is a photo showing a haggard Mike Lindell posing for a photo with a Trump rally-goer in Waukesha authentic? No, that's not true: This photo has been digitally edited. The original photo shows a smiling Lindell posing with liberal Wisconsin radio station owner Mike Crute. The altered image was posted on a political satire account and at least nine areas of the photo had digital edits applied, including the faces of both Lindell and Crute.

The image appeared in a post (archived here) published by @GaryPetersonUSA on X on May 2, 2024 which was captioned:

Meeting Mike Lindell at the Waukesha Trump Rally must've been what it was like to shake hands with the Apostle Paul before Christ took the stage at the sermon on the mound.

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Fri May 3 00:21:04 2024 UTC)

The logo on the T-shirt of the man in the foreground is for Devil Radio, short for 'the Devil's Advocates Radio', owned by Mike Crute. Lead Stories checked the X account of the radio station and the unaltered photo (archived here and pictured below) was posted there on May 1, 2024. Comparing the faces in both pictures it becomes apparent that details have not simply been retouched, but the faces of both men were merged with alternate photos, where they each have slightly different facial expressions, and in the case of Crute, a different style beard. The Devil's Advocates Radio post was captioned:

You never know who you're gonna meet at a #Trump rally. Tune in today @devilradio 3-6 CT for #crute's exclusive with My Pillow Guy, former crackhead, Mike Lindell. @WAUKradio @MadRadio927


Twitter screenshot(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Fri May 03 01:11:20 2024 UTC)

Lead Stories contacted the holder of the "Gary Peterson" X account through direct message on May 5, 2024. They referred to several of the small changes in the background of the image in their response:

You can rest easy, good sir! Mike Lindell has happily not started dressing like a late night horror host, although I don't know if I trust Heckyl & Jeckyl, Dr. Richard Kinball, and the Patriot cat in the background.

In a followup message they confirmed that the account is political humor and Gary Peterson is a satirical character:

Yep, Gary is a political satire character. I'm a YouTube comedian, but a lot of that is movie based, so I created Gary to have a lot of fun with political humor.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks about Mike Lindell can be found here.

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