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Altered video misleads on content, style of Biden speech

June 14, 2019

CLAIM: Video shows Joe Biden’s speech is impaired as he makes a “shocking admission.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video was slowed down and manipulated in other ways, and Democratic presidential candidate Biden did not make any sort of admission. Rather, he was referencing comments made about him by President Donald Trump.  

THE FACTS: The original footage was slowed down, and two clips from it were cut and spliced together. A social media user who uses the handle @CarpeDonktum, who declined to be identified due to concerns for his safety, posted the altered video to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Reddit on Wednesday and Thursday, calling the video a “shocking admission” and saying it forced him to question Biden’s mental health. 

@CarpeDonktum, whose Twitter bio says he creates “doctored” videos in support of Trump, told The Associated Press that he had slowed down the video and cut the two clips together. On Reddit, he labeled the video as “doctored” because he said users on Reddit may not be familiar with his parody style videos. 

“All I do is make parody and funny videos,” he said. “No ill intent behind it.” 

He had posted another video of Biden that was shared by the president in April. 

The manipulated footage taken from ABC News of Biden at Iowa Wesleyan University was uploaded by @CarpeDonktum following President Donald Trump’s remarks this week that Biden was getting slow and referring to him as “Sleepy Joe.” 

Biden and Trump were holding dueling events in Iowa on Tuesday when Trump compared Biden to 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  

“Then when it came time to vote, they all said, ’You know, she doesn’t like Trump very much, but what else does she stand for?” he said. “The same thing is happening with Sleepy Joe.”

@CarpeDonktum inserted a person walking in front of the camera to hide a cut he made in the video, where he removed part of it and spliced the remaining footage together, so Biden appears to say, “Joe Biden shouldn’t be president. I think I’m either low IQ or slow or I don’t know what I am. Slow Joe Biden.” The editing of the video makes it appear to depict an uninterrupted quote. The deletion of that middle section and the omission of other, earlier parts of the original ABC footage removed context that’s critical to understanding what’s being seen -- namely, that Biden was describing what Trump, as well as North Korea’s official news agency, have said about him.

In the original ABC clip, Biden criticizes Trump for agreeing with North Korea’s criticism of him. AP reported in May that North Korea’s official news agency had called Biden a “fool of low IQ.” 

“He embraces dictators like Kim Jong Un who is a damn murderer and a thug,” Biden says in the original ABC News clip. “The one thing they agree on, Joe Biden shouldn’t be president.” 

He goes on to reference some of Trump and Kim’s characterization of him as “slow” or having a “low IQ.”

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536

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