A gold-colored statue of former President Trump wearing shorts and flip-flops carrying the Constitution in his hand was on display at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla.
Images of the cheeky statue—which was labeled an “idol” on social media—spread around the internet. In the meantime, an altered photo spread on Twitter as well, supposedly showing evangelicals praying to the statue. The actual picture of people praying was taken during an Evangelicals for Trump gathering on Jan. 3, 2021.
The photoshopped version of the image had the golden Trump inserted on top of the actual 45th president, which duped some people online into thinking that the evangelicals were actually praying over the gold statue.
Journalist Joel Stein asked his progressive followers if “the fall of Rome was this embarrassing” before sharing the photo. He then returned to Twitter a few hours later to announce the image was in fact “photoshopped.”
His first tweet on the subject had since been deleted.
“The statue is real. It is difficult but important to stick to facts amid the insanity of American politics,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “I shall take this post down tomorrow.”
Former Democratic congressional candidate Adam Christensen posted the picture on Twitter as well, along with the caption: “Praying to a Golden Idol.”
He was forced to post a follow-up tweet moments later explaining that the photo was a joke but insisted that the “intent” in the picture was “clear.”
“White Evangelical support is near an all time high going into CPAC and after the event rolling this idol into the conference it’s clear that their ‘support’ is close to going to the next level,” Christensen posted in a tweet.
When questioned by a Twitter user if spreading “disinformation” may make it difficult to believe his “future statements,” Christensen responded that the picture was a “visual representation of what I see in Conservative media circles as well as those that I grew up with.”
Tech reporter Ed Bott remarked that he “needed to see this story carved into stone tablets” before he attempted to save face in a follow-up tweet that the image was a “Photoshop that mashes together two real photos that are each as bad as this.”
“Worshipping the new Christian Golden Idol…,” said astrobiologist David Grinspoon before deleting his mistaken tweet in shame.
The statue is made from fiberglass and was developed by the artist Tommy Zegan. Zegan stated on Saturday that he had created the piece in Mexico and it was on sale with a $100,000 price tag.
Zegan confirmed that the fiberglass statue is made from the “mold” of the “real” thing and that he dreams that the actual statue will find a home in the Trump Presidential Library.