Donald Trump Nazi tweet features St Albans photographer’s mock battle image

PUBLISHED: 05:59 23 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:02 23 July 2015

Donald Trump's offending tweet. Photo courtesy of Georgethefourth/iStock/@realDonaldTrump/Twitter

Donald Trump's offending tweet. Photo courtesy of Georgethefourth/iStock/@realDonaldTrump/Twitter

Photo courtesy of Georgethefourth/iStock/@realDonaldTrump/Twitter

One is a controversial billionaire running for the American presidency; the other is a humble St Albans photographer and image editing expert.

The battlefield re-enactment photo taken by George Cairns, St Albans photographerThe battlefield re-enactment photo taken by George Cairns, St Albans photographer

Although the pair live miles apart, their worlds collided dramatically last Tuesday (14) when real estate mogul Donald Trump tweeted a campaign poster featuring - unsurprisingly - a picture of himself, looking stern, next to a picture of where he hopes to live next: the White House.

On closer examination though, eagle-eyed followers of Trump’s account [there are 3.29 million of them] were horrified to see that near the stars adorning the mogul’s visage, were men clad in Nazi uniforms, superimposed over the American flag.

In line with his slogan, “We need real leadership. We need results” Trump immediately had the offending tweet deleted, but not before it had been retweeted hundreds of times, and favourited over 1,000 times.

The incident was apparently blamed on a “young intern” and widely publicised.

George Cairns, St Albans photographerGeorge Cairns, St Albans photographer

This in turn prompted a hunt by the media to track down the source of the original image.

As a result, non-profit online news outlet Mother Jones revealed that the image in question “was taken at a World War II re-enactment near Kent”.

It was one snapped years ago by St Albans photographer George Cairns, for stock images, where there is practically no control over who uses your photos.

He told the Herts Advertiser that while he had initially braced himself for Twitter trolls, the controversy “has kept me mildly amused for the last week.

“I feel sorry for the intern. But ironically, the day the tweet was deleted, Trump came top of the presidential polls.”

The photography teacher explained that the photo was probably taken almost 10 years ago to be used by the media as a stock image, alongside photos of explosions and people dressed in uniforms worn during the Second World War, including by American soldiers, in a war re-enactment.

He recalled that, for him and other photographers, being at the mock battlefield was “great fun”.

Cairns told Mother Jones that the photo had not made him much money over the years.

The Herts Advertiser briefly considered trying to contact the Trump campaign for a comment, but thought it more prudent to instead use this useful, and strangely apt quote from the man himself: “I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present.

“That’s where the fun is.”

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