In a political era where politicians can seem to claim that up is down and night is day, here's a new one: President Donald Trump's advisor Kellyanne Conway says that speeding up a video isn't altering it.
The claim is in reference to a video tweeted out by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, which captures a confrontation between CNN reporter Jim Acosta and an aide who tries to grab a microphone out of his hand during a November 7 press conference with President Trump. The reporter was not finished with his question and didn't give up the mic, resulting in inadvertent contact with the intern reaching over his arm. He responded with a "Pardon me, ma'am" and then finished up his question, relinquishing the mic after.
The video in question was used to justify removing the reporter's White House access, and that's where the trouble begins. Trump has denied that the video was altered, and Conway either doesn't know the definition of the word or just contradicted the president publicly.
In a Sunday interview with Fox's Chris Wallace, Conway says that "[Acosta] either put his hands on her and grabbed the mic back or he did not, and he clearly did." She goes on to say about speeding up video:
That’s not altered. That’s sped up. They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or a touchdown.
You can see the comments at about the 9:30 mark in the video above.
Ignoring the fact that no touchdowns were scored at the press conference and that both videos, at most, show a singular hand (not hands) being used in the altercation, she seems to misunderstand what editing means. Speeding up a video is considered editing it, altering it, manipulating it, and yes, doctoring it. When the timing of footage is changed, reality is altered and you're not seeing what actually happened. To make matters even fuzzier, an expert looked at the video and determined that three frames were frozen, and then the actual point of contact was made faster to make it appear like a "karate chop," as Conway says, to the intern's arm. He even called it "too precise to be an accident."
Conway goes on to say that Acosta owes the aide an apology. It's puzzling that the aide hasn't come out to say how she feels about the whole thing, but until then, this interview with Conway is the only window into that question.
To see the original, undoctored video, click here to see the full exchange.