Harry Belafonte has criticised a White House official who shared a manipulated video using footage from a former interview he gave.
New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman shared comments by the singer and civil rights activist on Monday, the day after the clip was posted by Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications, on his personal Twitter account.
The clip falsely makes it appear as though Joe Biden fell asleep during a TV interview.
It was still up on Scavino’s personal Twitter page, on which he has more than 900,000 followers, at the time of this story being published. Twitter has flagged it as containing “manipulated media”.
The person actually featured in the original and real clip is Belafonte, not Biden.
That interview dates back to 2011, when – as a representative then told The Huffington Post – a technical glitch kept Belafonte from hearing the TV anchor who was supposed to be speaking with him, meaning he failed to react when on air.
“They keep stooping lower and lower,” Belafonte said according to Haberman. “A technical glitch in an interview I did nine years ago now becomes another one of their lies, more of their fake news.
“I beg every sane American-please vote them out. I knew many who gave their life for the right to vote. Never has it been so vital to exercise that right.”
TV anchor John Dabkovich also reacted to the manipulated video on Monday, writing: “This is fake. You know how I know? I was the co-anchor in studio. We were interviewing Harry Belafonte.”
Dabkovich linked to the original video, which is still available to watch on YouTube.
The Independent has contacted the White House for comment. Belafonte’s team had no additional remarks.