Raging battle ignites over dueling videos as Acosta DENIES inappropriately touching WH intern

Did CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta inappropriately touch a White House intern during a press briefing Wednesday afternoon? That, dear Watson, is the question. And according to Acosta, the answer is of course a resounding no.

“Obviously, you know, I didn’t put my hands on her or touch her as they are alleging,” he claimed during a CNN interview Wednesday evening. “And it’s just unfortunate that the White House is saying this. You know, we all try to be professionals over there and I think I handled myself professionally.”

Listen, and pay attention to the video playing in the background:

 

The video played by host Anderson Cooper contained a notable omission — one that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made sure to highlight later on Twitter.

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration,” she initially tweeted Wednesday evening, hours after a tense confrontation between President Donald Trump and Acosta during the aforementioned presser.

“We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” the press secretary added, referencing a moment during which Acosta refused to hand his microphone over to the intern, choosing instead to seemingly push her away.

A few hours later she shared the following footage from the presser that conspicuously shows Acosta briefly putting his hands on the intern to prevent her from getting a hold of his microphone:

He clearly put his hands on the intern, meaning what he said to Cooper was a blatant lie. And because he put his hands on her and then later lied about it, the argument could be made that the White House was justified in revoking his press credentials.

“As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice,” Sanders stated in hard-hitting tweet storm Wednesday night.

 

The problem is that a growing chorus of critics now claim that the video Sanders shared had been purposefully doctored to make Acosta’s inappropriate touching look worse.

“This video is doctored. It’s slowed down and then sped up at the moment Acosta’s hand comes down to make it look like he’s doing a karate chop or something. This is shameful propaganda. It’s Orwellian,” Entertainment Weekly’s Dana Schwartz tweeted, echoing the sentiment of others.

CNN VP Matt Dornic helped lead the charge, and accused Sanders of tweeting a ‘doctored’ tape:

**Update: Former FBI agent and CNN analyst Asha Rangappa went so far as to accuse Sanders of ‘libel’:

 

Are the allegations correct? Watch the original footage of the altercation below:

 

While the clip shared by Sanders was definitely slowed-down, it’s not clear that whoever prepared it fast-forwarded it during the brief moment when Acosta put his hands on the reporter.

What’s clear is that neither Acosta and his supporters (including CNN) nor Sanders and her supporters (including her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee) intend to back down.

Here are some tweets from Sanders’ supporters, including Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union, who noted that a number of journalists are exasperated by Acosta’s behavior:

Below are Acosta’s supporters, including CNN and the White House Correspondents Association:

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