Trump campaign taunts Twitter with manipulated audio of Biden calling virus a ‘hoax’
President Trump’s reelection campaign tweeted out manipulated audio to make it sound like former Vice President Joe Biden called the coronavirus a “hoax” in an effort to draw attention to what it views as Twitter’s double standard in policing political speech.
The new Trump campaign video is styled after an ad released by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, which featured misleading audio of Trump describing the coronavirus as a “hoax.”
The president’s campaign has flagged multiple Democratic videos for Twitter in which he is heard calling the coronavirus a “hoax,” arguing that the content runs afoul of the social media giant’s manipulated media guidelines. Twitter has declined to sanction the Democratic ads.
In the Trump campaign ad released Thursday, Biden can be heard saying: “The coronavirus is a hoax.”
Biden never called the coronavirus a hoax. The audio is deceptively spliced together from two different times that Biden spoke.
The media is giving a pass to a pro-Biden TV ad that doctors and deceptively edits audio of President Trump, even though every independent fact checker said President Trump DID NOT call the coronavirus a hoax.
Joe Biden, on the other hand? This sounds authentic… pic.twitter.com/YY6vN5gTM6
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 2, 2020
The Trump campaign is making the case that Democrats also deceptively edited audio to make it sound like Trump called the coronavirus a hoax.
The campaign released the new Biden audio to see if Twitter would enforce its manipulated media standards on both sides, or only on the Trump campaign.
“Twitter has so far effectively instituted a ‘Biden protection rule,’ refusing to apply their manipulated media label to video and audio of President Trump that every independent fact checker says is false,” a Trump campaign official said. “This tweet forces the issue and makes Twitter decide. It can enforce its arbitrary rules fairly and equally, or it can have its policy exposed as totally ineffective or a partisan sham. It’s their move.”
Last week, the Trump campaign flagged new content on Twitter that it said had been deceptively edited to make it seem like the president had called the coronavirus a hoax.
Several videos promoted by Democrats, including the Priorities USA ad, have been viewed millions of times and feature audio of Trump saying: “The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.”
Trump refused to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously, now he won’t take responsibility as his administration has been totally unprepared for this crisis. pic.twitter.com/Jdh1GY9HHS
— Priorities USA (@prioritiesUSA) March 23, 2020
Fact-checkers at The Washington Post, Snopes, PolitiFact and FacCheck.org have determined that it is false to claim that Trump called the virus a hoax. Rather, he used the term while talking about Democratic efforts to politicize the virus.
Trump’s full quote was: “Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’ ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’ They have no clue, they don’t have any clue. … And this is their new hoax. But you know, we did something that’s been pretty amazing.”
The Trump campaign has threatened legal action against the television stations running the Priorities USA ad.
And it sent requests to Twitter to review the ad under its manipulated media guidelines.
Twitter responded by saying that the ads did not violate their manipulated media guidelines.
So far, Twitter has only used the manipulated media tag once, to put a warning on a Trump campaign video.
The sanctioned video features footage of Biden saying: “We can only reelect Donald Trump.”
The social media company determined that the Trump campaign video did not include Biden’s full remarks and therefore had been taken out of context.
In a full clip of the moment, Biden says, “We can only reelect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s gotta be a positive campaign.”