FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Don Lemon And Rick Wilson Laughing At Joe Biden During An Interview?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows CNN host Don Lemon and Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson laughing at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during an interview.

Verdict: False

The video deceptively combines clips from a January CNN segment between Lemon, Wilson and New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali with clips from a March interview between Biden and NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.

Fact Check:

The video shows Biden purportedly appearing with Wilson on Lemon’s show “CNN Tonight.” Lemon and Wilson allegedly start to laugh after Biden says that President Donald Trump doesn’t want to “face me because I will beat him.”

However, the video has been altered. Rather than showing a real exchange between Biden, Lemon and Wilson, it deceptively combines two separate videos. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Joe Biden Sleeping During A Local TV Interview?)

The clips of Lemon and Wilson come from a January CNN segment, where Lemon, Wilson and Ali discussed an exchange between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, who said he demanded she find Ukraine on a map after an interview with him. In the original segment, Lemon and Wilson laughed after Wilson began to mock some Trump supporters.

The panel faced backlash following the airing of the segment, The Hill reported. In a subsequent episode of “CNN Tonight,” Lemon clarified that he was “laughing at the joke and not at any group of people,” according to USA Today.

The footage of Biden was pulled from a March interview with “Today” co-host Guthrie, not a CNN interview. Guthrie does not laugh when Biden says that the “one thing the president doesn’t want to do from the very beginning is face me” or when Biden says that he can “hardly wait” to debate Trump, the original clip shows.

Biden was not present during the segment with Lemon and Wilson; the clips of him were superimposed over Ali in the altered video. CNN’s chyron was also changed from “NPR Reporter Says Pompeo Cursed And Demanded She Find Ukraine On A Map After Interview” to “Joe Biden Shares His Best Jokes,” a comparison of the manipulated video and the original CNN segment shows.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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