At a post-midterms press conference yesterday, November 7th, President Donald Trump made headlines after a belligerent interaction with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta. Following the highly publicized incident, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused Acosta of “placing his hands on” a White House intern via a tweet, and said the journalist’s White House press pass had officially been revoked. She shared a doctored video of the incident—one that originated on the alt-right conspiracy site InfoWars. The manipulated video appears sped up in order to make the interaction between Acosta and the aide look intentional and aggressive.
Sanders continued by asserting, in a bold-faced lie, that Trump has given an unprecedented amount of access to the press. She also blamed CNN for the encounter before concluding that “the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”
Here’s the video that Sanders shared:
And here’s the same footage, unedited.
In the real video, it’s clear that Acosta was trying to keep hold of the microphone while the aide tries to retrieve the mic, and any contact he had with the intern appears to be accidental. The video that Sanders tweeted out seems to be sped up, which makes the interaction look aggressive and intentional as opposed to unintentional contact while the aide attempts to grab the mic.
CNN also issued a statement in defense of Acosta saying that Sanders “provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened.”
All things considered, we’re not surprised to see the White House spreading yet another lie, but it’s still important to call out the government for misleading the public. Sharing a manipulated video goes beyond deception; it is a colossal disservice to the people the government is supposed to serve. The press is not the enemy of the people—no matter what the Trump administration says.