Trump Team Admits Video of Spat Between President and Reporter Was Sped up, but Claims It Wasn't Altered

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.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

Log in or register to post comments

"That’s sped up. They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or a touchdown."

Ummm, no, they *slow things down* to check that. No one ever said: "Boy Jim, that was a close play; let's watch it at double speed to clarify what happened!"

Congratulations! You know more about sports and video editing than a political consultant. ;-)
The story, as a whole, might (and that's a big might) warrant discussing, but her comments? Ummm, no.

Maybe a political consultant shouldn't comment on sports and video editing for an administration then. People in positions of authority and mass reach opening their mouths when they don't know what they're talking about is a dangerous thing.

:-) I guess it's a good thing that hardly ever happens, then! LOL

Wow Bob, you're really setting up a lack of rapport between us for the fourth go-around!

Bob? "Bad Bob"? The original "Bad Bob" from "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean"? I really liked that movie when it first came out but I'm not sure how well it would be now.

Oh he totally speaks for me. It's a good thing too, because he's so nice about it.

Lots of things escape me, Bob. I only know enough to know how little I know. However, I wasn’t the one who banned you. If we lived closer, I’d invite you for pizza and a cold Pepsi as I imagine an in-person conversation might be fruitful.

Is it because he's a Pepsi drinker and not Coke?

Now that there was funny, I don't care who you are! :-)

Yeah, Alex, a Pepsi? I mean c'mon man...

Well, we used to at least give each other enough respect to believe each other to mean well and be honest, despite how much we disagreed. Since you can’t give me that anymore, I have no intention of engaging with you again.

Also, since you seem absolutely bound and determined to stick around but claim you have no idea why you were banned the first three times, here are some guidelines:

1. Stop badgering people. Learn to disengage from dialogues that are going nowhere.
2. Don’t insert yourself into every conversation you come across. Being the most prolific poster does not make you the highest quality poster.
3. Stop playing the victim card with your politics. We have plenty of people who are far more right wing than you, both writers and commenters, and they all have active accounts and are doing fine on the site. You were not banned because of your politics and continuing to delude yourself into thinking that and allowing your behavior to continue will only get you banned again.
4. Stop playing this game of indirectly insulting people, then throwing your hands up and saying, “well I never directly insulted them!” It’s not clever and we see right through it.

I gave you the guidelines. I told you that once you questioned my honesty and intentions I wasn't interested in discussion beyond that point. As I said, if you keep refusing to take responsibility for your behavior and deluding yourself into thinking you're an innocent victim, we'll end up in the same spot for the fourth time. Those are the rules, like them or not. I don't care what you think of me.

A fourth time ban to anyone surely warrants something more permanent?

>>It's unfortunate that for someone as obviously well educated and as intelligent as you are, someone that is even capable of showing admirable kindness, that wisdom, tolerance and the truth still significantly escapes you

Where "wisdom" and "truth" seem to mean believing that action replays for sports are speed up instead of slowed down when Goebbels Lite tells you so...

And, of course, the opposite tomorrow if she changes her mind.

Kelly Anne Conway is the queen of alternative facts. Her attempt to defend the indefensible would be comical if her politics wasn’t so terrifying. Right now California is on fire, but alternative facts allow some to believe the real threat is at the southern border.

You'll never hear me defend her but aren't the fires and illegal immigration, separate and independent threats? I think the real threat is partisanship, as evidenced by the people here, on both sides, blindly voting up or down comments that really aren't provocative with no attempt to understand what's even being said. I heard a financial consultant, on the radio, commenting about the importance of couples needing to talk about their financial and retirement goals. Like it or not, we're all (for the most part) married to each other. :-/

Sam i agree. Whenever there is a king on the horizon the first play is divide and conquer. Its terrible whats happened to the country. I am not talking spirituality here but we r all connected what happens to the disenfranchised for instance, u can ignore it for a time but we all pay eventually. Having said that this is a photography forum we should stick to that since maybe just maybe some people will find harmony and respect through interests that may transcend our political beliefs.

I don't understand the first part of your comment but agree with your summation.

To destroy any organisation the first principle is to divide. The way to do this is always to stir up the fringes, disenfranchised. This is the price we all pay for ignoring 3 to 4 decades of people who feel they have no hope. This is the blame of all parties. My hope is that one day we all see this

i wish it was shot on an iPhone.

My only commit, is what the hell does this article have to do with photography?

Sometimes we also cover video on this site, and so there's a fair bit about video editing to discuss on this topic.

Her comments have no more to do with video editing than mine, which is to say, none! If the topic is "People discussing things they know nothing about", then, sure. And in that case, I'll be happy to give you my expert opinion! ;-)

First time the Trump administration has cared about a man touching a woman

This whole thing should scare the hell out of people, but I guess this is the new normal.

Your statement is just ridiculous. Hyperbole plays well to the base but makes you look foolish. :-/

>> Your statement is just ridiculous.

Why? This is a president who boasts of his ability to sexually assault women - "Grab them by the pussy" -without consequences.

>> Hyperbole plays well to the base but makes you look foolish. :-/

Yes, you do look a bit of a twit. Oh well - it's still better than being grabbed by your genitals, I suppose...

Two things:
1. Of course the president is head of his administration but he's not the only member. I can't imagine anyone thinking VP Pence, among others, doesn't care about a man touching a woman without permission.
2. I really, really didn't like his comment but I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel that way about all women in all circumstances. And, of course, people change. I don't know his state of mind at the time he said that or how he feels about that now.

I appreciate you responding rather than just voting down. It's okay to disagree but down-voting, without a comment, shows a lack of respect. I reserve that for comments, so offensive they don't merit respect or so ridiculous, logic would be a waste of time. I know I make foolish comments from time to time and look like a twit :-) but I don't think this is one of them.

>>1. Of course the president is head of his administration but he's not the only member. I can't imagine anyone thinking VP Pence, among others, doesn't care about a man touching a woman without permission<<

Right. Because it's unthinkable that someone who loudly proclaims their Christianity could be a sex abuser. That would never happen!

>> I really, really didn't like his comment but I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel that way about all women in all circumstances. <<

Yes, he's been fairly clear that he's only interested in women in a certain age range and body type. I'm pretty sure that Rosanne Barr would be safe despite their shared proclivities. I don't see how this matters morally, but there you go.

>>And, of course, people change.<<

Given his comments about women during the campaign it's rather shameful that you should try to find him even this excuse.

Well, I tried. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If that's true, I'd hate to see how compelling an argument you make when don't try. Really - "Hey, as far as we know the president is the only person in the administration you habitually assaults women - so it's completely un-hypocritical of them to doctor a video to make it look like an assault happened when one didn't!" It's not exactly the tire-mark defense from My Cousin Vinny...

"My Cousin Vinny" :-) I love that movie. I was in love with Marisa Tomei!

I'm not so foolish as to think I can convince anyone of anything. I submit reasonable doubt in the hopes people will give each other the benefit of it. I would, however, hope people wouldn't put words into my mouth. I didn't say, or imply, the President assaults women, habitually or otherwise. As for the video, doctored or otherwise, demonstrating assault, I don't think it demonstrates assault, even using their sped up/edited/whatever version.

My point has always been, this is a stupid conversation about a non-issue. The administration's assertion of assault is stupid and ill-advised and the discussion about this video, which doesn't show anything, is silly and irrelevant to this site's mission. The stated subject is this woman's comments and NOT the actual video.

My wife and I are always trying to decide on a movie to watch. This weekend will be "My Cousin Vinny". Thanks! :-)

You guys might get the clicks on these articles but you are turning off your audience. Just a friendly warning that you might want to change your tactics.

This is the second article they have done on the same incident. The sad thing is I just spent $300 on photographing the world 4 and even in that they had to bring up Trump. I actually bought it more to support this site but if this is gonna keep on going on I'll no longer be purchasing anything from them. I don't really get why they are allowing articles like this. It's not gonna drive traffic to the site but it will potentially drive it away.


If they had chronicled her taking a shit, that would also be a fact but who would want to read it? Her words were the verbal equivalent.
What she said, clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding of sports replays. That's not judgmental, it's true. I'm a conservative but she really gets on my nerves! Along with Sean Hannity. And Michael Levin. And, well, quite a few Republicans.

Dems don't get on my nerves. Since I generally disagree with them concerning politics, they're not in a position to act in my interest and so, can't disappoint me when they don't. I've only known one Democrat politician (Al Gore, when he was a Senator for Tennessee) well enough for him to get on my nerves on a personal level and he didn't. In fact, he was very nice and did me a big favor, resulting in my voting for Bill Clinton the first time. My feeling of debt repaid, I didn't vote for Bill the second time or Al, after that. :-)

If there were a single issue for me, that would be it.

I don't care or want to be constantly be hearing about Trump. I come on here wanting to ready about photography and video. Not to be reading about politics. The authors of these articles can claim all they want that this is about showing how video and photos are being manipulated and it's not about their personal feelings about the current president but either they are straight up lying or they are too stupid to realize they have a bias.
At the end of the day they have the right to post whatever they want on here. We also have the right to keep our credit cards in our pockets. Funny enough is I don't think I would have been able to afford the tutorial this year without a policy that Trump put in place.

I understand your frustration but "stupid"? "If you wrestle in the mud with pigs, you both get dirty but the pig likes it!" Someone here wrote that. I just wish I could remember who to give them credit. :-/

Trashing the landscape comes to mind.

And then some!

Wow David, it doesn't take much to upset you does it.

These articles do little more than bring out the worst in people. It's just a shame that so much of what we see in the media these days contributes to that polarisation. It's also a shame that this sort of divisiveness has become common on Fstoppers.

Ain't that the truf!

More comments