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President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Bullhead City, Ariz. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Bullhead City, Ariz. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Bullhead City, Ariz. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Jon Greenberg
By Jon Greenberg October 29, 2020

Trump campaign uses cherry-picked video to attack Biden

If Your Time is short

  • A video snippet shows members of the media moving away as Biden pauses when answering a question on court packing.

  • The full video shows Biden answering the question first.

President Donald Trump’s campaign is using a snippet of video to show a moment when Joe Biden ostensibly stumbled when asked about court packing. The message is that Biden’s stumble was his staff’s cue to hustle reporters away. 

In reality, the full video shows that Biden gave a lengthy answer, and then Biden’s staff began moving members of the press to attend the next campaign event. 

The deceptive clip is now part of Trump’s rallies, appearing most recently at his Oct. 28 rally in Arizona.

It started when Francis Brennan, the Trump campaign’s director of strategic response, tweeted the video excerpt. The campaign shared it that day on the Team Trump Facebook page and on Trump’s YouTube account.

"MUST WATCH: When asked about court-packing, Biden's staff immediately escorts the camera out," read the headline of the YouTube video posted to Trump’s YouTube page.

The video clip is from Biden’s Oct. 26 appearance in Pennsylvania. It shows him talking with a small semi-circle of people.

The clip begins with Biden’s signature pivot, "Here’s the deal." 

"One of the reasons that is important," Biden continues. "Keep in mind, although they are going to vote on ..."

At this point, Biden pauses. Members of the press are in motion, moving and shifting away from where Biden is speaking with supporters.

According to the Trump campaign, Biden’s staff were moving the press to protect him as he began to stumble. 

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But the full video, as streamed by ABC News and others, shows a different sequence.

In the full video, Biden answers the question

In the ABC News video, a supporter asks Biden about court packing by Republicans (see minute 4:50). Biden gives a long answer about forming a commission to explore options in federal judicial appointments, which are lifetime appointments.

"I’m not a big fan of court packing," Biden said. "I’m going to listen to all of the ideas."

Biden said his commission would include conservative, liberal and middle-of-the-road scholars and would have six months to give him a list of options.

After Biden finished, he joked with a nearby reporter and started talking about the courts again (which is where the Trump clip picks up). 

The video shows that Biden is going on at even greater length with a single reporter as other reporters Biden started to move away. (See 6:45 in the video.). 

Members of the media were directed down a path to a more open area where a lectern had been set up. 

Biden later went to the lectern to take more questions. Asked about his plans for the Supreme Court, he repeated the answer he’d given earlier.

Our ruling

The Trump campaign said that Biden staff hustled reporters away to cut off his stumbling answer to a question. The full video shows a different scene.

Biden had already given a long answer to a question about court packing and seemed to be following up with one reporter for even more comments. The Trump video plucks one moment out of context.

We rate this claim False.


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Trump campaign uses cherry-picked video to attack Biden

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