FACT CHECK: Did CNN Report Justin Trudeau Was Mentioned In Testimony During The Ghislaine Maxwell Trial?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows CNN reporting on-air that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was mentioned in a specific witness’s testimony during the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.



Verdict: False

The graphic has been photoshopped to include Trudeau’s photo and name. A CNN spokesperson also confirmed the image is fake.

Fact Check:

Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend and confidant of deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has been on trial for allegedly trafficking underage women since Nov. 29, according to Reuters. Amid the federal trial, what looks like a screen grab of a CNN broadcast graphic reporting Epstein’s former pilot said he saw Trudeau on the disgraced financier’s private plane has been circulating on Facebook.

CNN reported Nov. 30 that Epstein’s former pilot testified that he saw public figures such as Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton and former President Donald Trump on Epstein’s private plane. At no point does that Nov. 30 article – or other CNN stories about the Maxwell trial – state the pilot named Trudeau as one of the passengers on the jet.

Major media outlets such as the Associated Press, Fox News, NBC News, The Wall Street Journal and BBC News also said that the pilot’s testimony included references to Andrew, Clinton, Trump and others. However, none of those news organizations reported the pilot said he saw Trudeau on the plane, either.

The screen grab of the CNN graphic has been digitally manipulated to include Trudeau, a review by Check Your Fact of the broadcast on the video-clip editing service Grabien revealed. In the photoshopped screen grab, Trudeau’s photo and name have been superimposed over those of former Sen. George Mitchell. The transcript from Cabrera’s Nov. 30 show also contains no mention of Trudeau.

Bridget Leininger, a CNN spokesperson, confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email that the “framegrab/graphic is fake.” (RELATED: Does This Telephone Number And Access Code Allow People To Remotely Listen To Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial?)

Check Your Fact has addressed other allegations related to Maxwell’s trial, including the false claim that the presiding judge issued a “media-wide gag order” and the misleading claim that the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh was a co-defendant in the case.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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