US President Donald Trump has claimed that a video the White House released depicting contact between a White House staffer and a CNN reporter wasn’t altered.
Mr Trump told reporters that the video distributed by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was simply a “close up” and “was not doctored.”
But a frame-by-frame comparison with an Associated Press video of the same incident showed the one tweeted by Sanders appears to speed up CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s arm movement when he made contact with a White House staffer — apparently to make the gesture more threatening.
Mr Trump also defended the seizure of Acosta’s White House press credentials, suggesting that more reporters could lose theirs, claiming reporters aren’t “treating the office of the president with respect.”
TRUMP ‘DOESN’T KNOW’ NEW AG
As the US President prepared to leave Washington for a trip to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, he also spoke about the criticism he has faced over his choice to replace fired Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.
This is a complete lie. The woman grabbed Jim’s arm repeatedly. He never once touched her. In fact at one point @Acosta tells her politely “pardon me, mam” as she’s yanking on his arm. https://t.co/Mfh3Ol5Q46
— Allie Malloy (@AlliemalCNN) November 8, 2018
Mr Trump moved to distance himself from acting AG Matthew Whitaker who Democrats have suggested was put in the role to stop the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling into the 2016 US election.
“I don’t know Matt Whitaker” Mr Trump said, adding he didn’t speak with Mr Whitaker about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Mr Whitaker has made public comments critical of Mr Mueller’s investigation, and critics have called on Mr Whitaker to recuse himself from oversight of the inquiry.
Under former Attorne- General Jeff Sessions, the investigation was overseen by Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein.
Of the scrutiny Mr Whitaker is facing, Mr Trump said: “It’s a shame that no matter who I put in they go after.”
He also called Mr Whitaker “a very highly respected man.”
Mr Whitaker was Sessions’ chief of staff before Trump made him Sessions’ interim replacement.
TRUMP LIMITS ASYLUM FOR MIGRANTS
Earlier, Mr Trump invoked extraordinary national security powers to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally, tightening the border as caravans of Central Americans slowly approach the United States.
Mr Trump is using the same powers he used to push through a version of the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court.
The proclamation puts into place regulations adopted on Thursday that circumvent laws stating that anyone is eligible for asylum no matter how he or she enters the country.
“We need people in our country but they have to come in legally and they have to have merit,” Mr Trump said.
Of his upcoming Armistice trip, Mr Trump said: “I think it’s going to be something very special.”
Mr Trump will join fellow world leaders at a Sunday ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the agreement that ended World War I.
He will also meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and is planning to visit several memorial sites dedicated to American service members in honour of Veterans Day.
But the US President will skip the inaugural Paris Peace Forum that’s set to kick off on Sunday.
Originally published as Trump claims White House video ‘not fake’