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The Trump administration and its right-wing media allies have been circulating a deceptively cropped video of Joe Biden from Saturday even after social media sites flagged the video as deceptive.

Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, shared the video on Saturday of Biden speaking at an event in St. Louis, Missouri. The clip cuts off Biden mid-sentence, making his actual comment — “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” — sound like he was saying, “We can only reelect Donald Trump.”

Trump himself retweeted the video on Saturday, as did his campaign war room.

The video quickly made its way across right-wing media.

Radio host Todd Starnes posted it with the headline “We agree, Joe!”

The Blaze shared it, calling Biden’s “latest slip one of his best.”

Sean Hannity announced, “I finally agree with Crazy Uncle Joe.”

Mark Levin, the Right Scoop, Town Hall, and RedState also shared the misleading video.

Twitter labelled the video “manipulated media” on Sunday, its ever first use of that designation. Facebook on Monday marked it as “Partly false information checked by independent fact-checkers.”

But rather than back down, Team Trump stood by the video.

“The video was NOT manipulated,” Scavino tweeted on early on Monday. He also retweeted Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson, who claimed that the video was “simply shortened” and that “every single clip on Twitter is ‘Manipulated’.”

One of Trump’s handpicked federal communications commissioners, Brendan Carr, also defended the video.

“‘Disinformation’ is the new disinformation,” he tweeted. “We’re seeing an intentional and coordinated effort by established gatekeepers to equate political speech they don’t like with the entirely separate categories of doctored deep fakes, illegal content, and deceptive cheap fakes.”

A spokesman for Trump’s 2020 campaign told the New York Times, “The video was not manipulated. Joe Biden really is that bad.”

On Monday morning, Fox News transcribed Scavino’s argument as a news story. “Biden video was not manipulated, Scavino says,” the outlet said in a headline.

And as of Monday afternoon, none of the sites have taken down or retracted the misleading claims, though a few had posted updates noting the full text.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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The baseless claim that the FBI may have planted evidence while carrying out a court-approved search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday has surged through right-wing media, as the former president’s allies continue their effort to turn their audiences against the probe and shield Trump from accountability.

The FBI searched the premises after obtaining a warrant from a federal magistrate judge and “removed a number of boxes of documents” as part of a federal investigation into whether Trump had illegally “taken a trove of material with him to his home at Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House that included sensitive documents – and then, in the Justice Department’s view, had failed to fully comply with requests that he return the disputed material,” the New York Times reported. Politico concluded after consulting with legal experts on the handling of classified documents that “it’s highly unlikely the DOJ would have pursued – and a judge would have granted – such a politically explosive search warrant without extraordinary evidence.”

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