jim acosta sarah sanders

Sarah Sanders/Twitter

Did Sarah Sanders post a doctored InfoWars video to justify CNN ban?

The edited footage draws criticism from experts.


David Covucci


Posted on Nov 8, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 2:07 am CDT

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday seems to have posted a possibly doctored video to justify the White House’s decision to suspend the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who sparred with the president and a White House aide at yesterday’s news conference. The suspicious clip originated via a reporter from conspiracy theory-pushing website InfoWars.

“We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. It shows Acosta harshly tugging away the microphone.

The video comes after Sanders went on a Twitter thread detailing why the White House was revoking Acosta’s press pass, who has been a frequent target of criticism from President Donald Trump prior to yesterday’s interaction. “This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” she wrote.

Sanders’ video justification of Acosta’s behavior originated with Paul Joseph Watson, a figurehead in the far-right who works for InfoWars.

In an email to the Daily Dot, Watson denied that he’d doctored the video in any way.

However, a claim that the video was sped up and doctored went viral. The original tweet, from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice board member Rafael Shimunov, says the White House itself doctored it. In his thread, he’s retracted the claim and said that Sanders merely shared InfoWars’ doctored version. “Sped up to make Jim Acosta’s motion look like a chop,” Shimunov wrote. “I’ve edited video for 15+ years.”

The response to Sanders, who constantly echoes the president’s “fake news” claims, apparently using an inaccurate video to ban a member of the press led to her tweet being heavily criticized.


In response to the claims that he doctored the video, Watson told the Daily Dot that he did not adjust it in any way, and pointed to a defense of his video on Twitter.

It’s also possible that any discrepancies pointed out on Twitter come from comparing Watson’s video using the C-SPAN to the NBC version, which went viral yesterday. The Daily Dot’s art director reviewed the film and agrees that Sanders posted InfoWars’ posted videos.

Here are all three versions, compiled by the Daily Dot.


Sanders did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Dot.

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 8, 2018, 10:40 am CST