It's likely Fox's legal department forced Kilmeade to tweet a "clarification" about the defamatory doctored photo of FBI judge

As we posted earlier, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade tried to pass off a defamatory fake photo of U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart — who signed off on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago FBI search — as the real thing.

Here's a video of Kilmeade making the boldfaced claim that the photo was indeed genuine. He said at the beginning of the show: "That isn't the only embarrassing photo from Judge Bruce Reinhart. You won't believe who he's pictured getting cozy with. We're going to show you that next."

(*listen to the weird emphasis he uses when he says "Reinhart.")

After Kilmeade showed the photo, Sean Hannity voiced his doubts about the veracity of the photo, but Kilmeade refused to admit it was fake:

Hannity: "I think that's actually a picture of Jeffrey Epstein with somebody putting his head on there. I'm just guessing, I don't know."

Kilmeade: "It might be his plane, who knows?"

Hannity: "I'll let you determine that in the morning."

This afternoon, Kilmeade finally got around to admitting via Twitter the photo was fake, but pretended it was just a hilarious "jest":

Last night while subbing for Tucker Carlson, we showed you an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart w/ Ghislaine Maxwell that was sourced on screen to a meme pulled from Twitter & wasn't real. This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest.

To be clear, there are no real photos of Reinhart with Maxell or Epstein. Of course, there are tons of photos of Trump cozying up with the infamous sex predators, but Fox wouldn't dare show those, because they would cast their Christofascist god-emperor in a negative light.

Here's the segment where Kilmeade tried to pass off the photo:

I smell a lawsuit.