Fox News posted an image showing Melania Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell at a Mar-a-Lago event, but the network opted to crop out Donald Trump from the photo. Shortly after being called out for the editing decision, Fox missed an apology, saying it was done in error.
"On Sunday, July 5, a report on Ghislaine Maxwell during FOX News Channel's America's News HQ mistakenly eliminated President Donald Trump from a photo alongside then Melania Knauss, Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell. We regret the error," the network said, according to a tweet from CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy.
Epstein was a financier and socialite before he was convicted of sex trafficking. He died while in prison in New York City last August, reportedly of suicide.
More recently, his associate, Maxwell, was charged by federal prosecutors in New York for her alleged role in Epstein's scheme to recruit and sexually abuse girls over a series of years.
In the past, Trump's allies have attempted to play up any relationship between Epstein and former President Bill Clinton. But on Monday, Fox News was accused of similarly downplaying the president's relationship with the convicted sex trafficker when it showed an image that didn't feature any trace of him in a Sunday segment about Maxwell's arrest.
The snap was taken at Trump's Florida resort in February 2000, and while the president was apparently removed, his then-girlfriend Melania was left in the picture.
The decision was met with intense backlash and unflattering media coverage, with people attacking the network for seemingly protecting Trump.
Since then, social media users have also criticized Fox News, suggesting that the picture wasn't cropped by mistake and that the company's apology was only the result of being caught.
"We regret the deliberate error we made, is what that really means," commented one person.
"When there's four people in a photo and one is the president of the United States, one does not 'accidentally' crop his image," wrote another.
Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire after police had been looking for her for several years but were unable to locate her. The high-profile arrest has prompted all kinds of concerns over how to house her in order to prevent another potential suicide, violence against her, or any sort of policy violation within the prison, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Reportedly, Maxwell is expected to be in for a dramatic change in lifestyle.
"You go from living a life like Maxwell to all of a sudden being in a situation where you're being strip-searched and having people look into your body cavities. That is a crushing experience," a former warden warned.