On Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. posted a poorly doctored screenshot of a CNN graphic falsely claiming that President Trump held a 50 percent approval rating. Trump Jr. wrote in the caption of the doctored photo, “Amazing. I guess there is a magic wand to make things happen and @realdonaldtrump seems to have it.” That magic wand is called Photoshop. The post has since been deleted, but Jr. should know by now that screenshots are forever.
The original poll conducted by Gallup revealed that Trump held a 40 percent approval rating, while President Obama held a 45 percent approval rating at this point in his term. However, Trump Jr. didn't like those numbers. So, with a quick and sloppy use of Photoshop, a transparent red square was placed over the 40 percent, and 50 percent was typed in a different font. He also spelled America incorrectly in his hashtag.
According to the Gallup weekly tracker, Trump has never received a 50 percent approval rating while in office. He has only reached 45 percent twice. Once, immediately after his inauguration and one in mid-June.
The image that Trump Jr. manipulated originally came from a CNN segment in which John King was fact checking Trump's claims that he has “better numbers than Obama at this point, by far.” King then pulled up the graphic from Gallup, revealing that Trump was lagging behind Obama's approval ratings. While King noted that the two presidents' approval ratings were “roughly the same,” he also pointed out that Obama took office during a recession while Trump took office during economic growth. These factors ultimately impact the statistics in the poll.
When Trump Jr. initially posted the doctored photo, Trump fans celebrated. However, the poorly manipulated image was soon revealed to be a fake when people began pointing out that the 40 percent that is still visible behind the 50 percent band aid. Those folks celebrating sure have quieted down in the wake of Jr. deleting the post.