Politics

Twitter Flags Trump Campaign Video About Biden As "Manipulated Media"

At least three videos posted by prominent GOP members or their campaigns have been recently flagged on the social platform for their inaccuracy.

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Twitter flagged a video from Trump’s campaign on Monday as “manipulated media” for using a quote from Democratic opponent Joe Biden out of context.

The flag came a day after White House Deputy Chief of Staff posted a false video that claimed to depict Biden falling asleep on camera during an interview; the interviewee was actually singer Harry Belafonte, not Biden.  

The misleading posts were two of several posted by GOP members that got flagged in recent days, only about two months ahead of the November general election. 

RELATED: Trump Threatens To “Close Down” Social Media After Twitter Fact-Checks Him

What did Biden actually say?

The three-second clip posted by campaign account Trump War Room showed a speech given by Biden on Monday near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in which the Democratic nominee said: "You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America.” 

Biden was actually referencing attacks on his candidacy that President Trump and other Republicans have levied, including Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke those same words at the Republican National Convention last week.

In the full quote, Biden said: "Trump and Pence are running on this and I find it fascinating: Quote, 'You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America.' And what's their proof? The violence we're seeing in Donald Trump's America.” 

The campaign account has since replied to the flagged tweet, writing: “To all the triggered journalists who can't take a joke about their candidate, it's not our fault Joe Biden was dumb enough to say this on camera.”

Who really fell asleep on camera? 

Dan Scavino, a top White House official, posted a video clip on Sunday, which has since been deleted, that transposed Biden’s image into 2011 interview footage that depicted the artist Belafonte falling asleep on camera, HuffPost reported
 

The journalist John Dabkovich debunked the footage on Twitter, saying he was co-anchor at the station that conducted the interview at the time.
 

Belafonte himself has also condemned the manipulated video.

Top House Republican also gets called out

The #2 House Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), was also slapped with a Twitter warning for “manipulated media” on Sunday after he tweeted a video using NowThis interview that was digitally altered to falsely imply that Joe Biden supports defunding police. 

The widely shared video altered the wording of progressive activist Ady Barkan, who lives with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and speaks via an artificial, computerized voice. 

In the interview, Barkan asks Biden if he supports a list of police reforms, including redirecting some funding into social services, mental health counseling, and more. 
 
Later, Barkan again asks, “do we agree that we can direct some of the funding?” to which Biden replies, “Yes. Absolutely.” (and continues to explain his position at length). Scalise’s video adds the words “for police” to Barkan’s question, taken from audio in an earlier part of the video.

Barkan and Biden, among others, called on Scalise to delete the video, which he eventually did — but not until after it had already racked up millions of views and had been widely shared across social media.

The altered video promotes the GOP talking point that a “Democrat agenda” will result in “no police” and “mob rule.” Scalise tweeted a new version of the video that excludes the NowThis interview, but still contains a clip of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that inaccurately splices together her audio to form a misleading statement.

Kavish Harjai contributed to this report.