ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel suggested Monday evening that he was the victim after a deceptively-edited video that he made of Vice President Mike Pence went viral.
The video, which is now labeled as “manipulated media” by Twitter, shows Pence suggesting he should pick up empty boxes that were full of personal protective equipment (PPE) for a photo shoot. Vice President of Whitman Insight Strategies Matt McDermott posted the video on Twitter and claimed that Pence was “caught on hot mic delivering empty boxes of PPE for a PR stunt.”
The full video shows Pence delivering PPE to a hospital and then joking about delivering empty boxes for the photographs. No empty boxes were delivered, the full video indicates. Kimmel half-heartedly apologized on Twitter shortly before the video was labeled “manipulated media” on May 8 and further lamented about the incident Monday evening following criticism.
“But the outrage from the MAGA hats, the outpouring of venom was disgusting,” Kimmel said Monday. “Stupid too, but mostly disgusting. Some of these lunatics have the audacity to use the word ‘Christian’ in their bios, but that didn’t stop them from wishing death on me, on my family, on my son. Some of them said they hope my son dies.”
“They threatened my wife. There were hundreds of horrible, hateful, sometimes violent Twitter and Facebook posts,” the late-night host added. “Because I showed what they kept calling a doctored video.”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 12, 2020
Kimmel continued on to claim the video was not doctored. He said they “didn’t do anything to it” and “didn’t ‘doctor’ it.” Kimmel then turned the blame back to President Donald Trump, saying that “doctored videos are something” he “posts all the time.”
Kimmel also doubled down on the claim that Pence’s delivery of PPE “was a publicity stunt” and claimed he had no idea Pence was joking when he suggested delivering the empty boxes.
He also said that he “was wrong” and “made a mistake.” (RELATED: ‘An American Patriot’: Pence Says He Would Be ‘Happy’ To See Return Of Michael Flynn To Trump Administration)
Kimmel pointed to his “apology of sorts” tweeted on May 8, which included a backhanded comment about the Trump administration valuing “truth.” He added that he took his tweet sharing the video down.
“Apologizing to the Trump administration for spreading untruth is like apologizing to [former professional baseball player] Barry Bonds for using steroids. It’s hard,” Kimmel said, later adding that Pence’s office contacted him to ask for an on-air apology.
“Because this is what they’re thinking about while thousands of Americans are dying every day,” Kimmel said. “Jokes from late-night talk show hosts. But okay, you know what, it was my mistake, I do apologize to the vice president, again, for spreading misinformation about him. Spreading misinformation is their thing, and I stepped on their toes.”
Kimmel also asked Pence to have Trump apologize “for the following perversions of decency and democracy,” giving a list of apparent misdeeds from the president. Kimmel’s monologue furthers his feud with the president and administration, which partially played out on Twitter during Mother’s Day, Fox News reported.