President Donald Trump and his campaign promoted a dishonestly edited video on Saturday that wrongly made it seem as if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had accidentally endorsed Trump.
The clip, which was viewed more than 5.8 million times and retweeted more than 34,000 times as of Sunday morning at 10 AM, showed Biden struggling with a line in his Saturday speech in Kansas City, Missouri, then saying, “Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump.”
But the clip was edited to cut out the second part of Biden’s sentence. What the former vice president actually said was this: “Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign.” Biden had called for an end to “negative attacks” in his primary contest with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Trump retweeted the dishonestly edited clip late Saturday night, sharing a version tweeted by White House social media director Dan Scavino – who incorrectly said the video was taken in St. Louis, where Biden spoke earlier on Saturday. (Biden had delivered another version of the line in the St. Louis speech.)
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Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said Trump “has made it inescapably clear that he’s terrified of Joe Biden.”
“It’s not surprising that Trump’s re-election campaign is resorting to more disinformation about the Vice President – after all, Trump himself is so panicked about Joe Biden that he got himself impeached trying to force a foreign country to lie about him,” Bates said.
Trump has put Biden’s verbal slip-ups at the forefront of his early message against his potential general election opponent. The Trump campaign made a concerted effort Saturday to amplify the dishonestly edited clip. Campaign manager Brad Parscale, the campaign’s “war room” account, and campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis all shared it.
The clip was also tweeted by prominent conservative radio host Mark Levin and conservative websites such as Townhall and RedState – and by some Sanders supporters with substantial Twitter audiences.