White House counsel Kellyanne Conway on Sunday defended press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s decision to tweet a video of an exchange between CNN’s Jim Acosta and a White House staffer that was altered to appear more aggressive.
Conway rejected Fox News host Chris Wallace’s assertion that the video, which shows the female intern attempting to rip the microphone out of Acosta’s hand, was “clearly altered.”
“What do you mean by edited or — as others are saying — ‘doctored’ video?” Conway replied. “He put his hands on her and grabbed the mic back or he did not — and he clearly did.”
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“No!” Wallace interrupted. “He clearly did [keep the mic] but the video was altered and there are experts who have looked at it to make it look speeded up.”
“But that’s not altered,” Conway replied, before dropping her alternative fact. “That’s sped up. They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or a touchdown. So I have to disagree with the, I think, overwrought description of this video being doctored as if we put somebody else’s arm in there.”
“He should have apologized to that young aide,” Conway said of Acosta. “You have to show respect to the White House, to the presidency, the president. And I think what Acosta did was very unfair to the rest of the press corps.”
“As a woman whose had people put their hands on me, thinking they have a right to get in my personal space,” Conway said. “I don’t like him pulling that mike back and doing on her arm, it looked like a karate chop almost.”
Video experts confirmed to the Associated Press last week that the footage was clearly altered to speed up the motion of Acosta’s arm. The video was used as justification for the White House’s decision to revoke Acosta’s White House press credentials.
“I didn’t put my hands on her or touch her as they’re alleging,” Acosta said after the incident. “I think I handled myself professionally.”