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Nov. 8, 2018 / 2:54 PM GMT
By Adam Edelman
The ongoing battle between the White House and CNN reporter Jim Acosta took another turn Wednesday night after press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted out a video that CNN later claimed was manipulated to make it seem as if Acosta was aggressive toward a White House aide.
“Absolutely shameful, @PressSec. You released a doctored video — actual fake news,” Matt Dornic, CNN’s vice president of communications and digital partnerships, tweeted Thursday. “History will not be kind to you.”
Dornic was referring to a video clip tweeted by Sanders that appeared to show Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, making physical contact with a White House aide who had attempted to retrieve a microphone from Acosta during a press conference on Wednesday.
At the press conference, Acosta and President Donald Trump engaged in a contentious exchange in which the president accused the journalist of being “a rude, terrible person.”
Hours after the press conference concluded, Sanders said Acosta’s “hard pass” had been suspended as a result of the incident, saying that the journalist put “his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern” — a claim that doesn’t appear to be supported by original live video of the incident.
The video clip Sanders tweeted Wednesday night — which CNN claimed had been manipulated — showed Acosta making a chopping motion at the aide’s arm as she attempted to retrieve the microphone.
In his tweet, Dornic shared a video that appears to reveal how the clip released by Sanders had been altered.
The video clip tweeted by Sanders Wednesday night matched a clip posted by Paul Joseph Watson, editor-at-large for far-right media outlet Infowars, who denied altering the video.
An analysis by social media intelligence agency Storyful found that the video clip shared by Sanders of the incident contained extra frames that do not appear in the original C-SPAN footage of the event. The extra frames appear to exaggerate the action of Acosta, according to Storyful, which is owned by News Corp.
A senior administration official told NBC News they’re not discussing the video that Sanders tweeted out or where it came from.
Sanders said later on Thursday that, “The question is: did the reporter make contact or not? The video is clear, he did.”
“We stand by our statement,” she added.
The situation marks the latest chapter in an ongoing and intensifying feud between the White house and Acosta.
Acosta had tweeted Wednesday night that he was denied access when he tried to enter the White House. In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday night, CNN challenged Sanders’ account and argued that the suspension of Acosta’s credentials “was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference.”
“Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied,” the cable news network said of the explanation. “This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support.”
The revocation of Acosta’s full White House access came hours after a tense White House press conference, during which Trump berated Acosta after the journalist had tried to ask about the president’s characterization of a migrant caravan of roughly 4,000 Central American immigrants who are walking through Mexico to claim asylum in the U.S.
When the president tried to go to another journalist, a White House aide came over to Acosta to try and take the mic. Acosta declined to give up the microphone, and asked a question about the ongoing Russia investigation even as Trump tried to move on.
Trump told Acosta to “put down the mic.” When Acosta finally relinquished it and sat down, Trump began to verbally berate him from the lectern.