biden barkan scalise


Steve Scalise tweets doctored video of Biden and disability activist

The congressman faced calls from Ady Barkan, Joe Biden, and others to delete the video.


Andrew Wyrich


House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) tweeted out a video of activist Ady Barkan speaking with Joe Biden about police funding that was labeled as “manipulated media” by Twitter. The congressman wound up deleting it.

The video showed a clip from a conversation between Barkan, a progressive activist, and Biden. However, Scalise’s video inserted the phrase “for police” at the end of a question Barkan asked the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. Barkan speaks with computer-generated voice.

Twitter flagged Scalise’s tweet with a “manipulated media” tag, and the congressman ended up deleting the video.

In the original conversation between Biden and Barkan, the vice president responds to a question about whether “we agree that we can redirect some of the funding” for police departments toward mental health services. Scalise’s video added “for police” after “funding” in the question in a voice similar to Barkan’s, according to CNN.

Earlier in the video, Barkan used the phrase “funding for police.”

Both Barkan and Biden condemned Scalise’s tweet.

“.@SteveScalise, These are not my words. I have lost my ability to speak, but not my agency or my thoughts. You and your team have doctored my words for your own political gain. Please remove this video immediately. You owe the entire disability community an apology,” Barkan tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

Biden called the video “misinformation” and called for the congressman to remove it.

“This video is doctored — and a flagrant attempt to spread misinformation at the expense of a man who uses assistive technology. It should be removed. Now,” Biden tweeted.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called for Scalise to remove the video.

Scalise defended himself saying that Democrats “want to blame ‘editing’ to pretend this isn’t exactly what he believes” in reference to Biden’s response to Barkan’s question.

However, he eventually deleted the video and said he would “honor the request” of Barkan “and remove the portion of his interview from our video.”

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