- Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway hit back against observations that the White House shared a doctored video of CNN’s Jim Acosta at a White House press conference to exaggerate the confrontation with a White House intern.
- “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked Conway about the video which he said was “clearly altered to make it look like it was more of a physical confrontation than it really was.”
- Conway said she did not consider “sped up” video to be deceitful because “they do it all the time in sports.”
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway hit back against observations that the White House shared an edited video of a White House intern trying to take a microphone away from CNN’s Jim Acosta to exaggerate the confrontation.
“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked Conway about the video, which had been shared by a far-right conspiracy outlet and later by the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was “clearly altered to make it look like it was more of a physical confrontation than it really was.”
“Well, Chris, first of all, what do you mean by ‘edited’ or, as others are saying, ‘doctored’ video?” Conway asked. “He either put his hands on her and grabbed the mic [from] her or he did not, and he clearly did.”
Wallace interjected, “No, he clearly did. But the video was altered and there are experts who have looked at it.”
“Well that’s not altered,” Conway said. “That’s sped up. They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or a touch down.”
The video Sanders tweeted was observed by many to match the original broadcast footage except for a sharp speed increase when Acosta’s arm touched the intern’s arm, which appeared as a chopping motion.
Conway continued: “I have to disagree with the, I think, overwrought description of this video as being doctored as if we put somebody else’s arm in there.”
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) November 11, 2018
Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, was asking a visibly irritated President Donald Trump a question when a White House intern tried to grab his microphone several times before Acosta finished speaking and handed it to her.
The moment was broadcast live on multiple networks and widely shared on social media, including by Sanders. But many noted the video she tweeted to announce the White House was revoking Acosta’s press pass appeared edited to exaggerate Acosta’s arm movement, which appeared more violent.
The video appeared to be the same that was shared by an editor at the far-right outlet InfoWars two hours earlier. Several users noticed the commonality and compared the video with the original broadcast. Sanders did not say where she got the video.
An independent video producer who analysed the video for the Associated Press said the isolated speed increase is “too precise to be an accident.”
Conway’s comments come after Trump threatened similar action against other reporters who question his administration, earning him widespread criticism that his treatment of the press is similar to an authoritarian regime.
Journalists and press organisations including the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors, and the Online News Association joined The White House Correspondents’ Association in condemning the suspension of Acosta’s credentials.
Longtime ABC News White House correspondent Sam Donaldson said Sunday that CNN and Acosta are suing the Trump administration over the revoked press credentials, but a CNN spokesperson told Business Insider that “”no decisions have been made” on suing yet.