Boris Johnson’s message to former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on their supposed election win shows remnants of congratulations to President Trump, National File can reveal.
After the US media declared that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won the presidential election, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted out a congratulatory message to the pair.
“Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement,” the statement read. “The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 7, 2020
However, further detailed inspection of the image posted by Johnson reveals that beneath the message there is the remains of another congratulatory message, but to President Trump, not Biden and Harris.
One Twitter user was the first to notice that when analysing the image in Photoshop, and even just with the naked eye with a careful look, “Trump” can be seen just above “Biden.”
Further references can be seen to what appears to be “second term” above “look,” and “the future of this” under “shared priorities.”
National File consulted an independent expert in graphic design, who posited a theory on what had occurred. The expert noted that the fractals in the image suggested the unseen bits of text were sloppily removed with the paint bucket tool, suggesting the text layer could not be edited as a whole, meaning the image had been already saved previously.
This would imply that the message congratulating President Trump on his victory had already been prepared, and ready to go, and that Boris Johnson and Downing Street did not think the creation of two images was necessary, expecting the President to be re-elected.
The expert added that it is likely the image began being edited in one form with Photoshop’s paint bucket tool, when the creator assumed only small bits of text needed changing. When it became apparent the whole text needed to be redone, the graphic designer likely attempted to erase the entire first message, but failed to notice the remnants of his first attempt to edit the image. “By this point, the creator would likely not have noticed the tiny fractals left from the first edit,” they explained.
National File contacted Downing Street for comment and did not receive an immediate reply.
Update: A government spokesperson acknowledged the gaffe posted to Johnson’s Twitter account, and claimed that the error happened because of the “closely-contested” US election, supporting President Trump’s claim of the election being illegitimate.
This article was updated to include information about a statement from a UK government spokesperson.