After Biden plays ‘Despacito’ at an event, Trump shares a doctored video replacing it with an anti-police song.
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A somewhat awkward moment on the campaign trail Tuesday — when Joseph R. Biden Jr. played a few bars of “Despacito” from his phone after being introduced by its singer, Luis Fonsi — took a turn early Wednesday morning when President Trump shared a manipulated video of the moment with N.W.A.’s anti-police anthem “____ tha Police” dubbed in.
The doctored video, which Mr. Trump shared twice, was in line with his frequent attempts to suggest that Mr. Biden opposes law enforcement, including his false claim that Mr. Biden wants to defund the police — a position the former vice president has repeatedly emphasized that he opposes.
As a senator, in fact, Mr. Biden was the architect of much of the hard-line criminal justice legislation of the 1980s and 1990s, a fact that some progressive groups have criticized.
“What is this all about,” Mr. Trump wrote in a message that accompanied the video. Twitter later added a “Manipulated media” warning to it.
Mr. Trump later doubled down on the messaging at a news conference at the White House.
“Biden described the police as the enemy,” Mr. Trump said. “They are not the enemy. They are our friend.”
But while Mr. Biden did use the word “enemy” in comments about the police in July, he was referring to how some communities view officers who are armed with military-grade equipment. “The last thing you need is an up-armored Humvee coming into a neighborhood; it’s like the military invading,” Mr. Biden said. “They don’t know anybody; they become the enemy, they’re supposed to be protecting these people.”
The tweet came on a day of other misleading statements from Mr. Trump’s campaign and his allies.
On Wednesday afternoon, Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said that Mr. Trump had “always supported mask wearing” during the coronavirus pandemic, a day after Mr. Trump cast some doubt on the value of wearing masks during a nationally televised town hall event.
The president, who almost never wears a mask in public despite recommendations from federal health officials, has previously questioned their usefulness and often disparaged them.
The doctored video was created by the pro-Trump meme-makers behind the account “The United Spot.” They describe their content as “100% parody/satire,” but their YouTube page offers a wide range of disinformation narratives targeting Democratic politicians, the United States Postal Service and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, while also amplifying toxic conspiracies like Pizzagate.
The United Spot has built up a social media following across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and is listed as a content creator on MemeWorld, a loose right-wing media collective with a direct line to the White House. The president has retweeted manipulated content in the past from MemeWorld contributors, including the site’s owner Logan Cook, who goes by the name Carpe Donktum online. Mr. Cook’s Twitter account was suspended in June for repeated copyright violations.
Mr. Biden was appearing at a Hispanic Heritage Month event in Kissimmee, Fla., where he had traveled in a bid to shore up support among Latino voters in the increasingly Democratic central part of the state and to unveil his plan to support Puerto Rico.