Hillary Clinton weighed in on the altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that President Trump tweeted out on Friday, calling it “sexist trash.” Speaking to an audience at a Harris County Democratic Party event that night in Houston, Clinton said, “The president and his cronies have been running around spreading a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi. Now, it is sexist trash, but it is also a sign that Trump is running scared.”
My take on Trump and his cronies spreading that doctored video of Nancy Pelosi: It's sexist trash.
It's also a sign that Trump is running scared. pic.twitter.com/AgcH5RQNyj
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 25, 2019
Clinton continued, “So if you believe in the rule of law and the responsibility we all have to hold our leaders accountable, then we cannot relent on this front either,” saying that America is in “a very real constitutional crisis.”
Both Twitter and Facebook declined to take the Pelosi video down, and a Facebook executive defended their position in an interview with Anderson Cooper.
Few people know the power of edited video in American politics like Clinton. Trump played this very same game with her during the 2016 election, pushing videos they claimed were evidence of Clinton’s failing health. Kellyanne Conway herself shared video of Clinton coughing to fan the flames of these rumors (it was later revealed Clinton was recovering from a bout of pneumonia and refused to take a break from the campaign).
And, of course, there was the infamous “seizure” video where Clinton, reacting to a barrage of questions from reporters, blinked and moved her head rapidly, which Trump supporters, including Sean Hannity, quickly claimed was evidence of a seizure. (It was not.) And Trump jumped on that train, calling her mentally “unstable” and too “low-energy” to lead.
This is certainly not the last time we see one of these “deepfake” videos in American politics. In fact, unless platforms do something, anything to combat it, the problem will only get bigger.