Was Photo Of Migrant Mother 'Fleeing Tear Gas' With Children At U.S. Border Staged?

GUILLERMO ARIAS / Contributor / Getty Images

Shortly after hundreds of migrants battled U.S. border agents in a violent conflict on Sunday, one photo began being highlighted in the mainstream media.

The photo shows a woman pulling her children, reportedly fleeing tear gas fired by U.S. authorities.

Social media immediately filled with outcry. "Trump is tear gassing babies at the border. Read that again. Trump is lobbing tear gas canisters at mothers & children at the border. Lordy there are photos of children running from the noxious gas. This is Trump’s America & America’s shame. Real news, real Trump. Who wants this?" one person wrote on Twitter.

But one observant Twitterer found some unusual things in the very same picture posted above. In the background, it appears as if many people are not fleeing anything, and a photographer with a camera on a tripod appears to be taking pictures of a child running as another photographer shoots people "posing as if fleeing."

"Look at the high resolution picture of the guys in the back holding each other for the photographer to make it look like they are running," wrote another.

Others expressed doubt on Reddit. "We're supposed to believe that this person dragged those poor, pantless children 2888 miles in 45 days? Walking ~20 hours a day? And we're supposed to believe it is a totally organic thing, not paid for by anyone?" one user wrote.

As doubt was cast on the highly publicized photo, two well produced videos juxtaposed CNN's Jim Acosta lecturing the president about what the reporter claimed was not an invasion.

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