White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been accused of sharing a doctored video of a confrontation between CNN reporter Jim Acosta and a White House intern that took place Wednesday.
Several members of the media have called out Huckabee for using a version of the video they say speeds up Acosta’s arm motion, making it appear his actions were more aggressive than they were.
Acosta was asking President Donald Trump questions about a group of migrants who are making their way through Mexico when the conversation became heated and Trump told the intern to get the microphone Acosta was using.
The intern reached for the microphone and Acosta’s arm came down to block her from getting the microphone.
After the press conference, where Trump told Acosta he was “rude,” Acosta’s press credentials were suspended.
Later, Sanders shared a version of the video of the exchange in which she said the White House would “not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video.”
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
By late Wednesday and early Thursday, members of the media and CNN executives were questioning whether the video had been doctored.
Yes, the White House press office is sharing a manipulated video that makes it appear that Acosta was menacing the intern when he was not and did not. The intern reached over Acosta to grab the microphone while he was trying to ask another q and Acosta tried to pull away. https://t.co/2cqjHSYmr4— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 8, 2018
According to The Washington Post, the video that Sanders shared and some claimed was edited was first shared by Paul Joseph Watson, known for his conspiracy-theory videos on the far-right website Infowars.
Watson told the website BuzzFeed that he created the video by downloading an animated image from conservative news site Daily Wire. He said he zoomed in on it and saved it as a video and that that may have made it “look a tiny bit different.”
Here are the videos from both Sanders and from the C-SPAN broadcast of the incident.
1) Took @PressSec Sarah Sanders' video of briefing— Rafael Shimunov 🔥 (@rafaelshimunov) November 8, 2018
2) Tinted red and made transparent over CSPAN video
3) Red motion is when they doctored video speed
4) Sped up to make Jim Acosta's motion look like a chop
5) I've edited video for 15+ years
6) The White House doctored it pic.twitter.com/q6arkYSx0V