Did the White House edit out a cough in his video from Walter Reed?

Eagle-eyed viewers claim the White House edited out a cough from Donald Trump’s Walter Reed video address after spotting bizarre moment – while others say it’s just a hiccup

  • Donald Trump on Saturday night published a Twitter video update
  • The president spoke for four minutes, but some believe the video was edited
  • In the clip the president appears to stifle a cough, but some people think it is a sign it has been edited
  • Several editors suggested it appeared Adobe Premiere had been used
  • Social media on Saturday was awash with theories as to the strange moment

Social media users have been poring over Donald Trump’s video published from Walter Reed on Saturday night, after one user suggested that the clip may have been edited to remove a slight cough.

At around one minute five seconds into the four minute clip, the president appears to hiccup slightly. His shoulders rise, and you hear a noise.

While some believe the noise and response were simply Trump stifling a cough or hiccuping, others speculated that it could have been an edit, to remove the splutter.

Those familiar with editing software say that it was reworked with Adobe Premiere, using the ‘morph cut’ tool, which smooths out cuts in footage and is often used to edit out unwanted pauses or stutters. 

Chris Evans, host of The Wine Therapy podcast, tweeted to his 59,000 followers: ‘Trump coughed here after the word ‘therapeutics’ and it was edited out using the morph cut feature in @AdobePremiereCC.’

Christopher Orr, a contributing writer for The Atlantic and Forbes, agreed with Evans’ analysis.

‘Clearly a cut here. Hard to imagine any rationale other than persuading the American public that he is healthier than he actually is,’ Orr said. 

Donald Trump appeared to stifle a cough in his video but some believe the video was edited

Podcast host Chris Evans suggested Trump’s team had used Adobe Premiere software

IT developer Eva Poulsen said: ‘They are not very good at editing, are they? I would think that with their resources they would hire an actual professional to do the job… but then, no professional would want to be remotely linked to this mess show, would they?’

Another said: ‘Good grief! Proof of life / doing well video and they botch it with the edit. WH is run by 8yr olds.’  

Television and film editor Tom Costantino questioned whether it was ‘just a hiccup’, or whether it was an editing failure.

‘Hey editorial friends, think someone didn’t click progressive source and feature match on the fluid morph or is that just a hiccup like my dad used to do?’ he asked.

Writer Christopher Orr said there was ‘clearly a cut’ in the four minute clip

Tom Costantino, a professional film editor, asked if it was a bad edit or just a hiccup  

Some questioned why they would even attempt to hide a cough as it is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19.   

Trump on Saturday night said he was ‘starting to feel good’ after testing positive for coronavirus, posting a video on Twitter. 

Trump added that the treatments he is receiving are ‘miracles from God’ as he said that his wife Melania’s symptoms were not as severe as his own. 

‘We’re both doing well,’ Trump said in the four-minute Twitter video. 

‘Melania is really handling it very nicely. As you’ve probably read, she’s slightly younger than me, just a little tiny bit,’ he said of his 50-year-old wife. 

‘And therefore, we know the disease, we know the situation with age versus younger people and Melania is handling it statistically like it’s supposed to be handled and that makes me very happy, and it makes the country very happy, but I’m also doing well and I think we’re gonna have a very good result again.’  

Full transcript of Donald Trump’s address to the nation from Walter Reed

President Trump delivered an address in a Twitter video Saturday in which he said that he was ‘starting to feel good’

I want to begin by thanking all of the incredible medical professionals, the doctors, the nurses, everybody at Walter Reed Medical Center – I think it’s the finest in the world – for the incredible job they’ve been doing. 

I came here, I wasn’t feeling so well, I feel much better now. We’re working hard to get me back. I have to get all the way back because we still have to make America great again.

We’ve done an awfully good job of that but we still have steps to go and I have to finish that job. I’ll be back, I think, I’ll be back soon and I look forward to finishing up the campaign the way it was started, the way we’ve been doing and the kind of numbers we’ve been doing.

We’ve been so proud of it but this was something that’s happened and it was something that happened to millions of people all over the world and I’ve been fighting for them, not just in the US, I’m fighting for them all over the world. 

We’re going to beat the coronavirus or whatever you want to call it and we’re going to beat it soundly. 

So many things are happening, if you look at the therapeutics which I’m taking right now some of them and others that are coming out soon that are looking like, frankly they’re miracles, if you want to know the truth. People criticize me when I say that but we have things happening that look like they’re miracles coming down from God so I just want to tell you that I’m starting to feel good. 

I don’t know the next period of a few days, I guess. that’s the real test so we’ll be seeing what happened over those next couple of days.

I just want to be thankful for all the support I’ve seen whether it’s on television, reading about it, most of all I appreciate what’s been said by the American people almost a bipartisan consensus, by the American people. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and I very much appreciate it and I won’t forget it

I also want to thank the leaders of the world for their condolences and they know what we’re going through. They know what your leader is and what I have to go through. 

But I had no choice because I just didn’t want to stay in the White House. I was given that alternative: stay in the White House, lock yourself in, don’t ever leave, don’t even go to the Oval Office, just stay upstairs and enjoy it. Don’t see people, don’t talk to people, and just be done with it and I can’t do that, I had to be out front and this is America, this is the United States, the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world. I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe and just say “Hey, whatever happens, happens”. I can’t do that.

We have to confront problems. As a leader, you have to confront problems. There’s never been a great leader that would have done that. 

So that’s where it is. I’m doing well, I want to thank everybody. Our first lady is doing very well. Melania asked me to say something as to the respect she has for our country, the love that she has for our country. And we are both doing well. 

Melania is really handling it very nicely as you’ve probably read, she is slightly younger than me just a little tiny bit.

And therefore, we know the disease, we know the situation with age versus younger people and Melania is handling it statistically like it’s supposed to be handled and that makes me very happy and it makes the country very happy but I’m also doing well and I think we’re gonna have a very good result. 

Again, over the next few days we’re gonna probably know for sure so I just want to thank everybody out there, everybody all over the world, specifically the United States – the outpouring of love has been incredible. I will never forget. Thank you very much.

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