Reporters Speculate Donald Trump's Walter Reed Video Was Manipulated, Photos Staged

On Saturday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to share a video message from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is undergoing treatment for the coronavirus.

In the four-minute clip, the commander-in-chief thanked the American people for their support and said that both he and first lady Melania are doing well.

Several hours later, as New York Times reporter Eric Lipton pointed out on Twitter, the White House released a series of photos showing Trump working from Walter Reed Medical Center's presidential suite.

Reporters and political operatives were quick to note that in some of the photos released by the White House, he is seen signing what appears to be a blank paper.

"Oh god... they accidentally photographed him 'signing' blank pieces of paper," columnist and author Seth Abramson tweeted.

Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief of The Air Current, pointed out in a tweet that the so-called EXIF data embedded within the photos show that they were taken 10 minutes apart, on Saturday afternoon.

Writer Josh Jordan retweeted the post that Trump's team published, noting that "two photos in different rooms taken just 10 minutes apart using the same props with Trump signing a blank page in one of them."

Edward Hardy, host of The Hardy Report, tweeted a reaction to a picture shared by Ivanka Trump, ridiculing the suggestion that the president has been working all day despite his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Reporter Andrew Feinberg cropped out and zoomed-in one of the photos released by Trump's team. In the image, the commander-in-chief is apparently seen writing his name on a large sheet of paper.

Feinberg also noted that the video Trump posted to indicate that he is working and doing well may have been manipulated to edit out a cough.

At one point in the clip he shared, the commander-in-chief says that he is taking some of the therapeutics recommended by experts. For a split second, the video seemingly stops and then resumes.

"I think we need some real reporting on whether Trump's video was edited to delete coughs, conceal shortness of breath... I'm open to other explanations, but this doesn't look good," New York Magazine columnist Mark Harris wrote on Twitter.

Dr. Dena Grayson agreed with his analysis in her own tweet, writing that it seems like coughs were removed from the video.

She noted that coronavirus patients "can suffer a cough that lingers for many weeks, and it would be difficult for Trump to hide this on live TV."

President Donald Trump exits Marine One at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Getty Images | Alex Edelman

"Several video experts now assert that Trump's cough was manually edited out from his video tonight," epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding tweeted.

The White House has previously been criticized over what some claim is a lack of transparency.