A doctored video spicing together several different news clips makes it appear that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis argued with Fox News host Sean Hannity and defended the FBI after their search of former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago. But that didn’t happen. Let’s look at the facts.
The doctored video of DeSantis, Hannity and Lara Trump appearing to argue over whether the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago should be considered a “raid” is convincing at first glance because it looks like “talking heads” commentary segments that are common on cable news channels. But when we take a closer look at this video, we can see that something just isn’t right. Here are some cues that might tip you off to the fact that this clip isn’t authentic:
- Quick cuts: News and analysis segments generally feature live, uninterrupted video. If you notice “jumps” or cuts in a feed that should be live or unedited, it is possible that you are watching something that has been deceptively manipulated.
- Unnatural movements: Another way to spot a manipulated video is to look for unnatural movements. Do people repeat actions as if they are on a loop? Do their body positions suddenly shift and jump? Watch Hannity’s mouth and hands, as well as Trump’s eyes, as DeSantis is speaking.
- A lack of specifics: This video splices two unrelated video clips. While it may appear at first glance that Hannity and DeSantis are both talking about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, notice that DeSantis never actually mentions the former president or his residence.
Fact-checkers from Reuters, PolitiFact, and the Associated Press traced the origins of the clip featuring DeSantis to a December 2020 press conference in which the governor defended Florida state law enforcement after they searched the home of a former state employee who claimed that Florida’s Department of Health had manipulated its COVID-19 data. In that instance, DeSantis pushed back against the use of the term “raid” as biased and argued that law enforcement officials followed protocols as they executed a lawful search warrant. The doctored video’s creator said that it was made to parody DeSantis’ apparent conflicting opinions over the use of the term “raid,” which he used in August 2022 to describe the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago.
- “Video showing Ron DeSantis arguing with Sean Hannity about a 'raid' is satire” (Yacob Reyes, PolitiFact).
- “Hannity video edited to add 2020 DeSantis footage” (The Associated Press).
- “Fact Check-Altered Fox News segment showing Sean Hannity with Ron DeSantis” (Reuters Fact Check).
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