An online campaign ad from former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign earned four Pinocchios in a Washington Post fact-check, which said the ad engaged in "video trickery" to omit parts of quotes and leave out context in an effort to make President Trump look bad.
The fact-check from the paper on the Biden ad, which was posted to Twitter, also renewed criticism of Twitter for what the Trump campaign says is politically targeted enforcement of its policies by the social media giant. It sent a scathing letter to Twitter earlier this week after the company labeled one of its videos "manipulated media."
The slickly edited video, which Biden tweeted on Super Tuesday, contrasts Biden's message of "hope over fear" against a litany of claims and comments Trump has made over the years. The Post took issue with the Biden campaign's presentation of two of those moments in particular -- a Trump quote on the coronavirus and one on the American dream.
"Coronavirus -- this is their new hoax," the video shows Trump saying at a campaign rally in South Carolina.
The president did not say "this is their new hoax" immediately after he said "coronavirus" in his original comments, as the ad makes it appear, but rather made the hoax comment several sentences later. Trump was still talking about the coronavirus when he said the "hoax" part of the comment, but it was in reference to the media and how it covered his impeachment trial.
The Post takes issue with the edit, saying that it is misleading. Trump has misled about his administration's response to the coronavirus, the Post claimed, "But that does not excuse this kind of video manipulation. This is a clear example of deceptive editing, specifically what we label 'omission.'"
The next claim the Post fact-checks is a video of Trump hugging an American flag, which is paired with audio of the president saying "the American dream ... is dead."
But, the Post explains, Trump promised to bring back the American Dream immediately after he said "the American dream is dead," which the Biden campaign left out.
"The message is unarguably bleak, but by failing to include the second half of Trump’s repeated line, it isolates the comment from the context of Trump’s political argument," the Post's fact-check says. "Moreover, the ad does not make clear that the clip is nearly five years old, ignoring the difference between when a candidate and a sitting president makes a provocative, political statement like this."
The Post, in its four-Pinnochio fact-check, says this edit in the Biden ad constitutes "missing context." The newspaper also fact-checked the Trump video of Biden that Twitter labeled as manipulated and came to the conclusion that it was, saying it was "Missing Context."
Both the Trump presidential campaign and the Republican Party were quick to tout the paper's reprimand to the Biden campaign.
"Like Biden's repeated gaffes, Biden's penchant for lying and politicizing President Trump's response to coronavirus is a pattern," GOP Rapid Response Director Steve Guest said in a statement. "Nevertheless, while Biden keeps smearing President Trump, the Trump administration is continuing to take aggressive action with their coronavirus response."
The Trump campaign's deputy director of communications for rapid response, Matt Wolking, demanded in a statement that Twitter respond to the Post's fact-check.
"Now that an independent, third-party fact-checker has ruled the Biden video is manipulated to deceive, Twitter must immediately say whether it meets their 'manipulated video' standard, and if it does, treat it the same way Twitter treated President Trump's campaign," he said.
But Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates, in a comment to the Washington Post, said the ad successfully emphasized Trump's lack of credibility and highlighted his mistruths.
"Donald Trump is the most dishonest president in American history and one of the least credible human beings in the world. We don’t trust his next-day cleanup attempt, and he has made many comments in that same vein," he said. "And the claim that the American Dream was ‘dead’ in the final year of the Obama administration -- during the longest streak of job growth in American history -- is categorically untrue and another reminder of Donald Trump’s deep cynicism.”
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report.