Fox News presenter Brian Kilmeade admitted Friday that he showed a doctored photo of the magistrate judge who authorized an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this week.
While filling in for host Tucker Carlson on Thursday, Kilmeade displayed a fabricated image of Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart having his feet massaged by convicted sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell and holding Oreo cookies and alcohol on a plane.
“Sean, can you relate to that?” Kilmeade asked Fox News personality Sean Hannity, who noted that the photo looked doctored.
″I think that’s actually a picture of [financier and convicted sex offender] Jeffrey Epstein with somebody putting his [Reinhart’s] head on there,” Hannity said. “I’m guessing. I don’t know.”
“Who knows?” Kilmeade said, to which Hannity replied, “I’ll let you determine that in the morning.”
The fake photo seems to be a reference to Reinhart’s past work defending several of Epstein’s employees in court.
On Friday, Kilmeade took to Twitter to clarify that the photo wasn’t real: “Last night while subbing for Tucker Carlson, we showed you an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart w/ Ghislaine Maxwell that was sourced on screen to a meme pulled from Twitter & wasn’t real. This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest.”
So far, Kilmeade has not apologized on air to the viewers who saw the image and possibly believed it to be authentic.
Still, Twitter users read Kilmeade the riot act for pushing misinformation, especially as Reinhart has received violent and antisemitic threats since approving the warrant that authorized this week’s FBI search, according to Vice News.