Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert have weighed in on the controversy swirling around a White House video and arrived at the same conclusion: Both say Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be fired. The late-night hosts cited media reports accusing Sanders of sharing a "doctored" video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta's encounter with a White House intern. Critics say the video, which originated at InfoWars, was manipulated to make the confrontation look worse than it was. However, the man who created it for InfoWars denies that and cites a technical explanation for the differences.
- Colbert: "The fact that the White House press secretary is promoting this doctored video is reprehensible, and grounds for dismissal, or as they call it in the Trump administration: Thursday," he said, per Mashable. See his video here.
- Kimmel: "OK, not only did he not accost her, he said, 'Pardon me, ma'am,'" Kimmel said, per the Daily Beast. "That’s where the Hucka-B.S. machine comes in. Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted a doctored video clip that they believe is from InfoWars, which is a website for the mentally unbalanced, in which they sped up Jim Acosta’s hand movement to make it look more violent. ... She should be fired for that. Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be fired and sent to live in a Jo-Ann's fabric store for all the rest of her days." See the video here.
- Possible explanation: The InfoWars editor who made the video insists to BuzzFeed it wasn't doctored. But he acknowledged that he downloaded a GIF, "saved it again as an mt2 file, then converted it to an mp4." That process could have made it "look a tiny bit different." BuzzFeed's Charlie Warzel has a detailed look at the controversy. One key point: "There's no evidence that the video was deliberately sped up—but the change in format, from a high-quality video to a low-quality GIF, turns the question of whether it was 'doctored' into a semantic debate," he writes.
- The videos: Watch the encounter in real time here. And see the video tweeted by Sanders here. The Wall Street Journal has a side-by-side comparison here.
(In revoking Acosta's press credentials, Sanders said he had "placed his hands" on the intern
, which is "unacceptable.")