FACT CHECK: No, This Is Not Matt Gaetz’s Actual Senior Photo From High School

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims to show Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s senior picture from high school.



Verdict: False

Gaetz’s face has been digitally added to the image. The original version of the picture shows a different person that does not closely resemble the congressman.

Fact Check:

Facebook and Twitter users have in recent days been sharing an image that appears to show Gaetz sporting a tuxedo and a mullet, with many of them saying it is the Florida congressman’s high school senior picture.

The image, however, is not actually a genuine photo of Gaetz in high school. His face has been digitally superimposed over that of a different person, a reverse image search revealed. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims A Minnesota Middle School Discarded Books Because They ‘Cannot Be Cleaned’)

The Sun published the unaltered version of the photo in a December 2017 article titled “Mullet Over: This gallery of classic cuts from the 70s and 80s is hair-raising.” The picture has also circulated on websites such as Reddit and Flickr over the years. In those non-manipulated versions of the image, the man does not closely resemble Gaetz, who, according to the biographical directory of the U.S. Congress, graduated from high school in 2000.

Gaetz is under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over sex trafficking accusations, including an allegation that he had a sexual relationship with a woman starting when she was 17, according to the Associated Press. He has denied the accusations and has not been charged with a crime by the DOJ at this time.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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