Donald Trump Campaign Disputes Claim That Photo of President As Rocky Balboa Was 'Doctored'

Donald Trump's re-election campaign has claimed--perhaps with tongue in cheek-- that there is no evidence a picture of the president with the body of Rocky Balboa was doctored.

Team Trump accused The Washington Post of reporting that the image was doctored "without evidence" in a tweet Wednesday, shortly after President Trump shared the meme of himself as fictional boxing champion Rocky on the platform.

The Post tweeted on Wednesday that it was "unclear why" the commander-in-chief had published the "doctored photo," and reported that the image appeared to come from the film Rocky III's "promotional materials."

Responding to the Washington Post article reporting that Trump had "doctored" a photo of his head on to actor Sylvester Stallone's body, Team Trump jumped in on jokes about the image, tweeting: "Washington Post claims - without evidence - that @realDonaldTrump shared a 'doctored' photo."

Washington Post claims - without evidence - that @realDonaldTrump shared a “doctored” photo.

— Team Trump (@TeamTrump) November 27, 2019

The president's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. has also jokingly suggested the picture of his father with the body of Sylvester Stallone in the 1980s is legitimate.

"I've heard from reliable sources that it's not doctored," he tweeted in response to the Washington Post on Wednesday.

President Trump tweeted the picture of himself with Stallone's body earlier that same day without any caption indicating the purpose of the meme.

But Twitter users still had a lot of fun commenting on the flattering image, with the comedian Todd Barry writing: "This is about as a plausible as seeing 'tickets still available' the day of one of my shows."

Donald Trump as Rocky Balboa
Donald Trump posted a doctored photo of himself with the body of Sylvester Stallone playing the fictional boxer Rocky on November 27, 2019. Donald Trump/Twitter

"Are any brave journos going to reach out to the White House and ask if this photo is doctored?" tweeted Daily Caller reporter Amber Athey in a jibe at journalists trying to fact-check the picture.

Referencing the feud between Rocky Balboa and Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in the fourth instalment of the Rocky series, the former Late Show with David Letterman producer Eric Stangel simply tweeted: "Yeah, but Rocky actually fought the Russians."

The Trump re-election campaign's snipe at the Washington Post for reporting that the picture was doctored "without evidence" sparked further reaction.

"Team Trump is demanding to see some hard evidence that the picture Donald Trump shared that showed his head on Sylvester Stone's body in 'Rocky III' is, in fact, a doctored image," historian Kevin M. Kruse tweeted. "No, seriously."

Several more Twitter users told Team Trump their eyes provided all the evidence needed to prove it was doctored.

Others shared pictures of Sylvester Stallone's head superimposed onto the body of President Trump while golfing.

It is still unclear why the president tweeted a photo of himself as Rocky Balboa ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend.

The New York Times reported in 2016 that "Republican allies" of Trump approached Sylvester Stallone about taking a role at the National Endowment for the Arts, but the actor suggested he was not interested in the offer.