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Video supposedly showing Trump bashing supporters is voiced by comedian

July 30, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Project Veritas captures President Donald Trump on video bashing his supporters. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Conservative website Project Veritas did not upload the video. A parody account created the video. The audio featured in the parody clip belongs to comedian JL Cauvin, who confirmed to the AP that it’s his audio from an episode of Cauvin’s podcast “Making Podcasts Great Again,” where he impersonates Trump.

THE FACTS: A video that circulated on social media, purportedly from Project Veritas supposedly catches Trump on hot mic criticizing his supporters. In fact, a parody account created and released the video, not Project Veritas. Social media users shared the video, saying it was legitimate.

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“WATCH THIS!!!!  Trump was caught on a hot mic talking bad about his own supporters,” one Twitter user posted. The false post was retweeted over 3,000 times.

In the parody video, Trump is supposedly heard making crude remarks about his supporters, saying, among other things: “I have to say be a patriot. That’s motivating some of these animals---ok---the people I call ‘The Hills have Eyes’ people.”

The edited video paired Cauvin’s audio with footage that shows Trump wearing a mask and touring FUJIFILM in North Carolina on July 27. Media outlets were present and filmed the event. Cauvin made the remarks in an episode of his podcast.

“I think the video legitimately fooled people,” Cauvin wrote to the AP in an email. “I am a comedian and do a podcast as Trump called Making Podcasts Great Again.”

“A fan of the show made that video,” he added.

The parody video has text along the bottom indicating it’s from Project Veritas, the conservative website that uses hidden cameras and undercover reporters to ensnare journalists in embarrassing conversations. But Project Veritas had nothing to do with the video.

Trump was visiting the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Innovation Center in Morrisville, a suburb of Raleigh. The facility has begun production of the first batch of a possible vaccine developed by Novavax, a Maryland company.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536