Donald Trump Did Not Generate ‘Baseball Bat’ Photo with Alvin Bragg – Says Did Not See Link Preview for Article Shared on Truth Social


Former President Donald Trump has taken serious heat since late last week, when he shared an article on his Truth Social account that included an image of him holding a baseball bat next to a picture of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Yet contrary to corporate media narratives, Trump did not create the image and says he did not see a preview of the photo before he posted a link to the article.

The bizarre post led to several media outlets claiming Trump was inciting violence against Bragg, who Trump previously announced intended to indict him on a case many legal scholars, including Trump critics, say has a flimsy legal basis involving alleged hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Many in the media and political establishment have been on guard for such rhetoric from Trump given his call for protests in response to a possible looming indictment, and because shortly after he shared the article that contained this image he warned of the potential for “death and destruction” if Bragg proceeds with charging him. Of course, their narrative is that Trump — just like they say he did in the lead-up to January 6, 2021 — is urging his supporters to do bad things on his behalf.

via the New York Post

The New York Post, which has published editorials slamming Trump’s candidacy, led the way in criticism of Trump over this. “Trump posts disturbing baseball bat photo with Alvin Bragg, threatens ‘death and destruction’” was the headline on the New York Post story Friday morning.

The New York Daily News cover called him “The Dangerous Don.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the House Democrat leader, warned that Trump was going to “get someone killed” with his “reckless, reprehensible and irresponsible” rhetoric.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

There are plenty more examples of Trump getting roasted for this.

There are some key facts about all of this, though, that complicate their narrative. First and foremost, Trump did not make the image in question. His explanation for how this image came to be, which he made during an interview with Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity that aired on Monday evening, is as follows: a media outlet made the image and it was affixed to an article he liked. He shared the article on his social media account thereby also sharing the accompanying image—without even thinking twice about it.

“You have to understand that when the story was put up, I put up a story, we didn’t see pictures,” Trump told Hannity. “We put up a story that was very exculpatory, very good story from the standpoint of what we’re talking about. And they put up a picture of me. And you know where I was holding the baseball bat? It was at the White House, ‘Make America, buy America’ because I did a lot of ‘Buy America’ things, and this was a company that makes baseball bats. Then they put next to that picture a picture of Alvin Bragg. I didn’t do it. They did it. Then, I guess the people that do the paper or somebody put pictures together.”

The photo of Trump holding the baseball bat is in fact an authentic photo of Trump holding a baseball bat. That photo comes from his time as president, when he was promoting an initiative to make stuff in America again — and was highlighting a domestic baseball bat manufacturer. The other image in the collage is a file photo of Bragg.

What happened in this case is the media outlet that published the article that Trump liked and wanted to share took those two separate images and made them into a collage and then made that collage the lead photo on the article. News organizations regularly do this type of thing with news stories about two different subjects who have not been photographed together—they make image collages or side-by-side photos to show both major subjects of a story.

The article in question comes from National File, a conservative media outlet that is particularly edgy. The outlet is known for having broken the story about now former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, wore either Ku Klux Klan robes or blackface — it is still unclear which person is him, though Northam did say one of them is — in a yearbook photograph from decades ago.

WATCH: ABC’s Abrams: D.A. Bragg ‘Jerry-Rigging’ a 7-Year-Old Misdemeanor into a Felony to Charge Trump:

The National File story that Trump shared, which included the now-notorious image collage of Trump with the baseball next to the photo of Bragg, walked through how Bragg won the 2021 District Attorney election in Manhattan with just about 10 percent of Manhattan voters voting for him given the historically low turnout in such a local election. Democrat Bragg’s 182,828 votes was 83.2 percent of the votes cast in that election, whereas Republican Thomas Kenniff’s 36,597 votes represented 16.7 percent and 347 people voted for a different candidate or wrote someone in. Given the census data showing that in the year prior, in 2020, Manhattan was home to nearly 1.7 million people, that means Bragg’s victory was just over 10 percent of Manhattan voters backing him.

It is a powerful argument against radicalized prosecutors empowered by fringe base voters — hence why Trump wanted to share this story — as evidenced by the fact that many mainstream Republicans, such as House Administration Committee chairman Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI), have made a similar case. Steil is the chairman of one of the three congressional panels investigating Bragg over the possible Trump indictment. Steil, in an interview with Breitbart News at the House GOP retreat in Orlando, Florida, last week, argued that Bragg’s narrow victory in a Democrat primary with only a handful of voters backing him along with his win in the virtually uncontested low turnout general election means Bragg is not representative of mainstream society:

Steil brought up how Bragg won the Democrat nomination for the office of Manhattan District Attorney by winning just 85,000 votes—which he said “more or less guarantees, in New York City, that he is going to win the general election.” That is true because Bragg won the general election in the Democrat stronghold with 83 percent of the general election vote—after his approximately 85,000 votes, which was less than 35 percent, won him the nomination.

“Now he is almost making himself almost more powerful than the DOJ,” Steil said. “So, prosecutors could be utilized in these elections for political purposes rather than what local prosecutors truly are for, which is to keep their cities safe—which is the opposite of what he has been doing. You can look at how many felonies he’s brought down to misdemeanors and how crime has spiked in liberal cities across the country. In this case, it appears he is taking a misdemeanor and running a unique argument to try to create a felony charge.”

In addition, when posting on Truth Social, the platform does not display a preview of a link from a news website before a user’s post gets published. All Truth Social users experience this lack of link previews, not just Trump. So when Trump posted this particular article, he was not sharing a photo he had uploaded as a meme, and he would not have seen that the Bragg-baseball bat collage would be the photo featured on the link before he made the decision to publish the post.

“We posted the story, but they had a picture up, and they then put a picture up, or the picture was put up, and nobody noticed or saw, or nobody thought it was bad. These were two separate pictures,” Trump emphasized to Hannity.

In fact, since the Hannity interview, National File said on Twitter that it takes responsibility for the creation of the image — which the publication still has up.

“It’s our image,” National File said in a tweet with a clip of Trump explaining this on Hannity’s show.

“The issue is the NY Post and everyone else made it out to be your image, when it was ours,” National File added.

All this being said, however, Trump did post the article with the image in it — and even though he took it down later he has taken serious criticism for it. So while it might not be Trump’s fault that this happened the way it did, it is yet another sign of just how careful Trump has to be as he proceeds toward the White House again in a 2024 comeback campaign.

As evidenced by his continued improvement and strong standing in polls showing him towering over the 2024 GOP field and even leading incumbent Democrat president Joe Biden in some surveys, Trump has been on a roll to begin this year. Trump has remained mostly error-free since a massive mistake shortly after launching his campaign late last year when he had dinner with Kanye West, who brought along white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Trump took enormous heat for that too, and finally eventually denounced Fuentes in an interview with Breitbart News in Miami a couple weeks later. So, the lesson here for Trump ultimately is that while it may not be fair and the media attacks might be dishonest, he has to be above reproach entirely if he is to succeed in retaking the White House — and while he did not make this picture in question and it is entirely plausible that he did not even see the image before posting the article, Trump has to if he is going to win not even give critics an opening like this to attack him.

In addition, as a possible indictment still looms, Trump’s rhetoric is being watched by everyone in media and politics — his critics and supporters — so any mistake or anything that might possibly be taken to mean him calling for violence or something untoward can and will be used against him, whether that’s fair or not. So how the former president handles this will be very revealing as to his chances at succeeding at a comeback bid.

Rep. Comer: NYC D.A. Bragg Investigation into Trump ‘Is a Political Stunt’:


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