Donald Trump’s White House Using Fake Videos Is What Russia Does, Says Former Top CIA Operations Officer

President Donald Trump’s White House employed tactics similar to Russian intelligence when it released a doctored video Wednesday to claim CNN’s Jim Acosta had “placed his hands” on a White House aide during a testy exchange with the president at a press conference, according to a former CIA chief of Russian operations.

Steven Hall, who is now a national security analyst for CNN, said Thursday that the use of “fake videos” was an accusation historically used against Russia, not the “American White House."

“Fake videos are things we used to ascribe to Russia and other autocracies, not the American White House. Google the name Kyle Hatcher if you want to see how the pros (Russian FSB) do it,” Hall tweeted.

Brendan Kyle Hatcher is the former State Department official under the Obama administration who Russia had accused of being a CIA agent. In 2009, U.S. officials claimed Russia was conducting a “smear campaign” against Hatcher when it released a “doctored” video claiming Hatcher had sex with a prostitute.

The video currently in question was an altered version of Acosta’s attempt to keep the aide from taking the microphone away from him. Trump had insulted Acosta as a “rude, terrible person” and said “enough” while trying to move on to another reporter’s question during the almost 90-minute conference.

The doctored video appeared to be sped up to make it look as if Acosta had become more physical with the aide than he actually had. It was originally released by Prison Planet, a site under the umbrella of InfoWars founder and conspiracy theory peddler Alex Jones.

But in real time, Acosta did not let up and pressed the president for another question as the aide came over to take the microphone. Acosta looked to be making a gesture toward the president as the aide’s hand came in for the microphone. Others reporters in attendance defended Acosta and said he did not get violent at all.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, announced hours after the conference that Acosta’s press credentials were revoked indefinitely while claiming the president believed in a “free press and expects and welcomes tough questions.”

“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,” Sanders said. “This conduct is absolutely unacceptable. It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question.”

Paul Joseph Watson, the creator of the controversial clip and who also uses “PrisonPlanet” as his Twitter handle, denied doctoring the video and said he only zoomed in closer.

“Here's the video that proves I did not ‘doctor’ or ‘speed up’ the Acosta video, as some media outlets claim. I merely zoomed in. Nice try to distract from Acosta's behavior, but this kind of dishonesty is why the media has a massive trust issue. Please correct your stories,” Watson tweeted Thursday.

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