Twitter slaps ‘manipulated media’ tag on video shared by Scalise that alters activist’s question to Biden

Twitter on Sunday flagged a manipulated clip posted by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) that alters a question from activist Ady Barkan to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The clip is included in a video the House’s No. 2 Republican tweeted that accuses Democrats of fomenting and encouraging violent unrest. “No police. Mob rule. Total chaos. That’s the result of the Democrat agenda,” Scalise tweeted.

In the initial interview, Barkan, who uses a computerized artificial voice due to his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, asks Biden if “we agree that we can redirect some of the funding” for police departments toward public safety and mental health services. “Yes,” Biden responds.

The clip Scalise tweeted, however, inserts the words “for police” into Barkan’s question using the same computer-generated voice from earlier in the interview.

Biden has repeatedly come out against the movement to defund the police. Barkan, who also uses a wheelchair, endorsed Biden in July and asked him about the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.

Barkan called on Scalise to remove the video, tweeting, “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.”

Liz Jaff, who co-founded the Be a Hero PAC with Barkan, also condemned the video, tweeting that “to change his words like this is horrific.”

A representative for Barkan referred The Hill to his tweet. The Hill has reached out to Scalise’s office for comment.

Tags Ady Barkan Disability Joe Biden Steve Scalise
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