US Politics

White House accused of sharing doctored video of CNN reporter


Journalists and political analysts have accused the White House of sharing a doctored video that appears to make the interaction between CNN's Jim Acosta and an intern more aggressive.

Social media has lit up after a stoush between President Donald Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta, with rival camps trying to claim the higher ground.

The president and the reporter sparred at a press briefing Wednesday, culminating with a White House intern trying to pull the microphone away from Mr Acosta.

Mr Acosta's press pass was later cancelled amid accusations that he "placed his hands" on the intern.

One video that is circulating widely appears to have doctored Mr Acosta's movements. Critics say it's being used to "amp up the conflict".

The edited version has been shared by White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

This prompted several prominent journalists and political analysts to accuse Ms Sanders of using the edited version to make it appear the action was more aggressive.

This included Matt Dornic, CNN's vice president of communications and digital partnerships, who said the sharing of the video was "shameful."

"History will not be kind to you," he tweeted.

Other social media users are sharing one of Mr Trump's tweets from 2013 where he criticises the "intimidation of its reporters".

Twitter users have also accused the White House of engaging in 'Orwellian' tactics following the incident. Harry Potter author JK Rowling was among those to tweet a George Orwell quote.

And CNN has slammed the White House for its actions.

But the White House maintains that Mr Acosta was in the wrong, with Ms Sanders tweeting that his actions were "absolutely unacceptable".

At the earlier news conference Mr Trump, when asked by Mr Acosta if he had "demonised immigrants" during the midterms campaign, replied: "No, I want them to come into the country. But they have to come in legally."

Mr Acosta persisted, saying: "They are hundreds of miles away. That is not an invasion."

At that point, the president snapped.

"Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be higher," Mr Trump said.

As the reporter continued, Mr Trump declared: "That's enough, put down the mic" and walked away from his own podium, as if leaving.

The intern attempted to grab the microphone from Mr Acosta, who nevertheless tried to shout out one last question.

President Donald Trump clashed with CNN journalist Jim Acosta during a news conference in the East Room of the White House.
President Donald Trump clashed with CNN journalist Jim Acosta during a news conference in the East Room of the White House.

Waving his finger, Mr Trump berated him.

"I'll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN," he said.

When NBC reporter Peter Alexander took the mic for the next question, he defended Mr Acosta as a "diligent reporter" - earning Mr Trump's ire.


"I'm not a fan of yours either. To be honest. You aren't the best," he said.

Looking back at Mr Acosta, who again rose up in his own defence, Mr Trump added: "When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people."

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