White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is facing accusations that she shared an edited video of the exchange between CNN correspondent Jim Acosta and an administration aide at President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemonstrators gather outside White House to protest Sessions’ ouster Acosta: ‘I didn’t put my hands on’ White House intern White House doubles down on decision to pull press pass from CNN’s Acosta MORE‘s post-midterm news conference on Wednesday.
Sanders shared the video on her official Twitter account to justify the White House’s decision to revoke Acosta’s press credentials after his tense exchange with Trump.
Sanders cited Acosta’s interaction with the press aide as reason for suspending his “hard pass.”
During the press conference, the aide attempted to take a microphone away from Acosta as he questioned Trump, but he refused to let go. Video shows his arm brushing hers in the process.
“We will … never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” Sanders said in the announcement. “This conduct is absolutely unacceptable.”
But dozens of social media users, including several reporters and political analysts, said that the video Sanders shared zooms in on the moment of contact, and appears to have been sped up to make the moment appear more aggressive.
Matt Dornic, CNN’s vice president of communications and digital partnerships, said it was “absolutely shameful” for Sanders to share the video.
“History will not be kind to you,” Dornic tweeted.
Many also noted that the video was first shared by an account linked to InfoWars, the website of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter pointed out this connection, asking: “Surely you don’t trust InfoWars…?”
Acosta, who has repeatedly clashed with Sanders and Trump, has denied the White House’s accusations and said he thought he handled himself “professionally.” The interaction with the press aide came after a verbal clash with Trump, in which the president called Acosta “a rude, terrible person” and said that “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them.”
CNN said that Acosta’s press pass was pulled “in retaliation for his challenging questions” at the news conference.
The Hill has reached out to Sanders for comment.