In the aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump and other right-wing extremists, a photo showing Sen. Lindsey Graham posing with a member of a white supremacist group started circulating online.
The image shows the Republican senator alongside Joe Biggs, a prominent member of the Proud Boys, the neo-nazi group that Trump name called at the first presidential debate.
"I feel like not enough has been made of Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs having dinner at the Trump hotel with Lindsey Graham before Biggs helped organize an assault on the U.S. Capitol?" Twitter user Timothy Burke captioned the picture.
Biggs Led the Proud Boys at the US Capitol Riots
Days before the siege on the federal building, Biggs posted on his Parler account that he was co-ordinating the group's plans to attend Trump's rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. According to reports, Biggs was the "lead co-ordinator" of the Proud Boys' actions during the riots.
Biggs rose to the challenge following the arrest of Proud Boys leader Henry "Enrique" Tarrio on Jan. 4 in Washington, D. C., for burning a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black churches in the nation's capital last month.
Tarrio was additionally charged with unlawful possession of two high-capacity firearm magazines recovered from his vehicle during the arrest, which the FBI linked to plans of violence to block the Congress from affirming the outcome of the 2020 election in president-elect Joe Biden's favor at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Tarrio was released on bail but ordered to stay out of D.C.
While the photo of Graham and Biggs is, in fact, authentic and was taken at a Trump hotel, the description of the photo as being taken "before Biggs helped organize an assault on the U.S. Capitol" is misleading as it gave the wrong impression that the two events happened close to each other.
In reality, the picture was taken more than a year before the Capitol insurrection. Based on the Twitter post below, it appears Biggs originally posted the photos on his since-deleted Instagram account, @anticom3, during a visit to Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel on Nov. 7, 2019.
Graham's Spokesperson Refutes 'Dinner' Claim, Says He Was Taking a Selfie
The series of pictures in the Twitter post appear to show Biggs and Graham at a dinner table with waiters in the background and far-right Cassandra Fairbanks claimed in a now-deleted tweet that she saw them having dinner and was sitting at a table adjacent to them. However, a spokesperson for the senator insisted that Graham "does not know" Biggs and also refuted the claim that the two men were "having dinner."
"This is one of the tens of thousands of selfies Senator Graham has taken with individuals." The spokesperson said, emphatically, that Graham "does not know this individual.