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To justify removing Jim Acosta's hard pass, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted manipulated Infowars video she said proves his "inappropriate behavior" which she says is "clearly documented in this video".

In the video Infowars editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson can be seen following the modern political disinformation playbook — avoiding personally claiming the incident constituted an assault while repeatedly showing manipulated, slowed down footage, stripped of its audio, to make it look like an assault — all the while suggestively reframing what happened to whip up hyperpartisan sentiment (‘what if this had been a conservative reporter ranting at Obama’ etc) in order to manipulate his audience to side with the president against CNN.

In the raw footage, what's clear is that Acosta blocked several attempts by the intern to take the microphone by using his arm and the side of his hand brushed against the intern’s arm. Acosta immediately addressed her with “pardon me ma’am” as he did so.

In its formal response, CNN states the obvious: "Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied."

Well, duh.

In the end this accomplished the president's goal of distracting the media from talking about the mid-term thrashing of the republicans in the House.

Or as the president likes to call it, "almost a total victory".

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