GOP lawmaker shares fake image of Obama meeting with Iran's Rouhani

Rep. Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarTrade negotiations mustn't short-circuit domestic debate House Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ whistleblower cites Trump tweets as impetus for California emissions probe | Democrats set July vote for major conservation bill, blaming Republicans for delay | Trump vows crackdown on monument vandalism MORE (R-Ariz.) on Monday tweeted a fake image of former President Obama meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“The world is a better place without these guys in power,” Gosar said in the tweet.

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Other Twitter users pointed out that the original photo depicts Obama meeting with then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2011.

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The altered image of Obama and Rouhani dates back to at least 2015, when a super PAC supporting Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonThis week: Negotiators hunt for coronavirus deal as August break looms Sunday shows preview: White House, Democratic leaders struggle for deal on coronavirus bill Frustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal MORE (R-Wis.) used it in a television ad that aired in Wisconsin and attacked the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as a “toothless agreement that makes us less safe.”

After BuzzFeed reported the misleading image in 2015, a spokesman for the PAC claimed that BuzzFeed “was not able to provide any proof that the photo was fake” but said the PAC would still replace the image in the ad.

Gosar acknowledged the image was photoshopped in a follow-up tweet and said it was not meant to imply the two met in person, adding "[N]o one said this wasn’t photoshopped. No one said the president of Iran was dead. No one said Obama met with Rouhani in person. The tweet says: “the world is a better place without either of them in power."

The tweet comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran after the U.S. killed Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad last week. Over the weekend, Iraq's parliament approved a nonbinding resolution calling for the expulsion of U.S. troops, and Iran announced it would no longer abide by the 2015 deal's limits on uranium enrichment. The U.S. exited the deal in 2018.

The Hill has reached out to Gosar’s office for comment.