President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign lashed out at Twitter on Thursday for refusing to label as manipulated an edited video that appears to show the president calling coronavirus a hoax.
Twitter declined the campaign’s request to remove the video after fact checkers called the content deceptive. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign adviser Tim O’Brien shared the video March 17, more than a week after Twitter began taking action against such content.
“This is indisputable evidence that Twitter has one rule for the Trump campaign and another rule for Democrats,” Trump campaign spokesman Matt Wolking said in a statement following Twitter’s decision.
He said Twitter’s refusal to act is evidence of the company’s bias.
“Twitter is refusing to label a viral video that doctors audio of President Trump to spread misinformation about the coronavirus,” Wolking added before mentioning a different March 3 ad spreading similarly edited content. “Twitter’s political bias is obvious and it is actively choosing to protect Joe Biden.”
“I felt this was a pandemic long before it was a pandemic,” Trump says, lying. #coronavirus
— Tim O’Brien (@TimOBrien) March 17, 2020
The video, which has been viewed millions of times, features the president appearing to say: “The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.” (RELATED: Trump Calls On Twitter To Apply ‘Manipulated Media’ Label To An Edited Video Biden Sent)
Trump called the Democrats’ supposed politicizing the virus a hoax.
“Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it,” the president said in the unedited version. “We did one of the great jobs, you say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’ They have no clue, they don’t have any clue … And this is their new hoax.”
Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough confirmed to the Daily Caller that the “Manipulated Media” label will not be applied to the video. Neither she nor anyone else at the company provided a reason why the deceptively video doesn’t violate the policy.
Washington Post’s fact checkers gave Four Pinocchios to one of former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign ads making the same claim.
The video contains two clips “spliced together to fabricate a quote and give viewers the false impression that he called the coronavirus a ‘hoax,’” Trump campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner wrote in a March 10 letter to Twitter. The company should apply the label to a March 3 video containing, he added.
White House social media director Dan Scavino criticized Twitter on the same day for labelling a video the campaign created of Biden “manipulated media.” His version of the video showed Biden bumbling while articulating a point, telling an audience in Missouri: “Excuse me. We can only reelect Donald Trump.”
The unedited video shows the former vice president saying: “Excuse me. We can only reelect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign.” Scavino maintained that the video was edited, “NOT manipulated.”
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