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[COMMENTARY] Trump’s Team Deliberately Doctoring Videos

Misleading the public is the default setting for Team Trump, but things got nastier over the weekend when two Trump surrogates posted doctored videos to Twitter and other social media platforms. One video changed a man’s words; the other replaced a famous man of color with Joe Biden.

First, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise posted a video of ALS patient and healthcare activist Ady Barkan that seemed critical of Joe Biden. Despite vast criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden himself, Scalise refused to back down that his video wasn’t doctored. The original tweet containing the video, which Twitter has marked “Manipulated Media” was still up as of Monday afternoon as #ScaliseResign was trending.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump team has tried to push the image of Biden as “Sleepy Joe”, which hasn’t really worked for them since America saw a vibrant and energetic Biden all through the Democratic National Convention. But that didn’t stop Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino from tweeting another doctored video on Monday which seemed to show Joe Biden falling asleep during an interview. Unfortunately for Scavino, it was quickly revealed that not only wasn’t it footage of Joe Biden, it was an interview with a man of color: legendary entertainer Harry Belafonte.

Joe Biden blackface fake
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JULY 14: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Chase Center July 14, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden delivered remarks on his campaign’s ‘Build Back Better’ clean energy economic plan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What an uncanny resemblance.

Scavino was busted by the man who co-anchored the original interview with Belafonte, which had gone viral in 2011 where it seems the multi-award-winning singer had fallen asleep.

Harry Belafonte has responded to this latest bit of Trump trickery, as quoted by Maggie Haberman of the New York Times: “They keep stooping lower and lower.  A technical glitch in an interview I did 9 years ago now becomes another one of their lies, more of their fake news. .I beg every sane American-please vote them out. I knew many who gave their life for the right to vote. Never has it been so vital to exercise that right.”

While Scalise tweeted a sort-of retraction, the original video was still on his Twitter account at the time of this writing.

With the advancement of such technology, it’s a safe bet these won’t be the last doctored videos we see from Team Trump, as they seem incapable of playing fairly.



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