After President Donald Trump and CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta shared a tense exchange during Wednesday’s press conference, the White House revoked Acosta’s press pass — and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shared a video to Twitter purporting to show the journalist inappropriately forcing an aide’s arm away as she attempts to take his microphone.
But that video appears to be a doctored version of the incident shared by an editor for Alex Jones’ conspiracy website InfoWars.
> The edited footage is speeded up to make it look like Acosta forced the woman’s arm down as she went to grab the mic.
> Paul Joseph Watson, a far-right conspiracy theorist and editor-at-large of InfoWars, wrote for the Alex Jones-run website that “Acosta clearly uses his left arm to physically resist/restrain the woman.”
> On Twitter, Watson accused Acosta of using his arm “to overpower her” and shared the doctored footage, which zooms in on the reporter’s arm.
But the undoctored footage tells a different story:
> The original clip shows the staffer grabbing the mic and attempting to pull it away as Acosta holds on. Her arm meets with Acosta’s hand, which drops with his arm as she tries to pull the mic and turn to hand it to another reporter.
> “We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video,” Sanders tweeted along with the misleading InfoWars version of the footage.
During their exchange, the president called Acosta a “rude, terrible person” who “shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
> “You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. And the way you treat other people [is] horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”
CNN, which has sustained constant attacks from Trump during his tenure in the White House, responded to the most recent incident in a statement:
> “This president’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American. While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.”