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VERIFY: Did Sarah Sanders share a doctored video of Jim Acosta?

There are questions surrounding a video that the White House press secretary shared to justify revoking a CNN reporter's press credentials.

In a video tweeted by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta appeared to push, or possibly hit, a White House intern when she tried to take the microphone from him during a tense exchange with President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Later that day, Acosta's press credentials were suspended. In a different tweet, Sanders explained why: "We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern..."

After Sanders shared the video and explanation, some claimed her video was "doctored" and showed a different version of what really happened.

You can watch the video Sanders shared here:

Self-proclaimed editing experts took Sanders' video and compared it to C-SPAN's recording of the interaction.

Those accusing Sanders of sharing a doctored video claimed that the edits increase the speed at which Acosta appears to touch the intern and make "Acosta's motion look like a chop."


Was the video posted by press secretary Sanders different than the C-SPAN version? If so, was it doctored to appear that way?


We can VERIFY without a doubt that the video posted by Sanders is different than the recording from C-SPAN and other outlets. There are freeze frames and accelerated motion that don't appear in other videos.

But, that does not necessarily mean the video was doctored or edited to have those effects.


VERIFY ran our own version of the tests mentioned in social posts above.

We identified two-to-three frozen frames and what appeared to be accelerated motion in the clip right around the point when Acosta and the intern touched arms.

When you line up the C-SPAN video and Sanders' version side-by-side, or even overlay them, there's no doubt the the clips are slightly different.

But that is not definitive proof the clip was doctored. As a few individuals pointed out, the discrepancies could also be due to video compression or the dropping of a few frames when formats were changed.

The video Sanders posted is identical to a video posted by Paul Joseph Watson, an InfoWars editor. He claimed he made the video by taking a .gif and converting it into a video format. You can see his Twitter defense by clicking here.

We created our own test to show how converting .gif files to video and back can create degradation in the overall video and often leads to motions that appear quicker or slower.

To see this in video format, watch the attached video above.


The video from Sanders is different. That’s Verified.

But claiming that it was done on purpose is unverifiable. You’d have to witness someone editing the video to be certain it happened.

There are other explanations, including video degradation and frame drops, that could explain how this happened.


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