The White House is accused of using a video of CNN’s Jim Acosta doctored by far-right outlet Infowars as justification for suspending the journalist’s press pass.
Trump clashed with Acosta at a press conference in the White House on Wednesday when a White House intern walked up and tried to take his microphone away. Acosta held on and kept trying to question Trump.
At one point, the intern puts her arm underneath Acosta’s to try and grab the microphone, and he pushed his arm down. Here is the moment as broadcast live on NBC:
But White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been accused of sharing a doctored version of the video, which slows down the intern’s approach and speeds up Acosta’s arm movement, making the moment appear more violent.
Here is the video shared by Sanders:
What appears to be the same video was shared two hours earlier by Paul Joseph Watson, the editor-at-large of Infowars.com, a far-right outlet whose content has been banned from almost every major tech outlet including Apple, Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube for spreading conspiracy theories.
CNN journalist Brian Stelter asked Sanders for the source of the “distorted” video on Twitter. ” Surely you don’t trust InfoWars…?” he asked.
Other Twitter users said that you could see that Sanders’ video had been doctored when compared to other videos at different speeds.
Sanders used footage from the event to justify revoking Acosta’s press pass. She said on Twitter that the White House would “never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”
In response, Acosta said that Sanders’ statement was “a lie.”
Acosta told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday that he did not “put my hands on her or touch her as they’re alleging.”
“It’s unfortunate the White House is saying this,” he said. “I think I handled myself professionally.”
Acosta had been repeatedly challenging the president’s characterization of a Central American migrant caravan as an invasion, and asking questions about the Russia investigation.
The White House Press Association condemned the White House’s decision, saying that it should “immediately reverse this weak and misguided action.”