Fact Check-Altered image of John McCain and Lindsey Graham standing with Osama bin Laden resurfaces online

An altered image of late Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham standing with the late Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden has resurfaced online.

The image appears to show McCain and Graham pictured with bin Laden standing between them. Text beneath the altered photograph reads: “Hal Turner Radio Show - Declassified: Photo Of Lindsay Graham with Osama Bin Laden and John McCain.”

Although the altered image has been circulating for years and was previously addressed by fact-checking outlet Snopes in 2018 (here), the image resurfaced on Twitter in November 2022 (here).

Other recent examples of the altered image being shared online can be found (here), (here) and (here).

The image is not authentic, however, and the original photograph shows the two senators pictured with the former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, in July 2013.

McCain posted the original photograph via his Twitter account on July 4, 2013, stating that he and Graham had met with Karzai the day before (here), archived (

McCain and Graham visited troops in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 4, 2013, during celebrations of the U.S. Independence Day holiday at International Security Assistance Force headquarters (here).

Senator Graham’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Altered. The original photograph shows McCain and Graham pictured with former Afghan President Karzai in July 2013.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.