Notably, Maddow claimed the part that was intentionally edited out of the White House's video of the press conference following the July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland, concerned Putin's response to a reporter's question of whether he hoped Trump would beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
"We can report tonight that the White House video of that exchange has also skillfully cut out that question from the Reuters reporter, as if it didn't happen," the Rhodes Scholar thundered, referring to Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason's question: "President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election?"
White House edits video to remove question about whether Putin wanted Trump to win. pic.twitter.com/ExlsHNlgF8— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 25, 2018
The Washington Post's Philip Bump reported Thursday: "That's also how The Post's transcript of the news conference initially read, too. Ours came from Bloomberg Government and ours, too, excluded the first part of the reporter's question."
Rather than an attempt to cover up Putin's response to Mason — in which the Russian head of state acknowledged that he preferred Trump over Clinton, citing the Republican candidate's willingness to normalize US-Russia relations — the confusion was a result of the fact that Mason's audio was not turned up at the time he asked the question, a White House official said Wednesday.
But Maddow didn't believe her viewers were so perspicacious. Instead of acknowledging the possibility of multiple video feeds presenting slightly different audio as a result of translation lags, she said that the clip fitting her version of events was "real" while the White House's, and Bloomberg's, and the Washington Post's version was not.
In reality, Fox News' video feed suppressed the translator's audio while lifting Mason's voice; the Post's feed was from Bloomberg Government and featured audio of a reporter asking a question that is almost undetectable; an RT video provides coverage of Mason's full question and Putin's full response, albeit with a translator partially speaking over Mason.
"This is not a conspiracy from the White House," a Washington Post report by Philip Bump states, emphasizing that, while White House statements are frequently misleading (like Sean Spicer's claim that Trump's inauguration crowd was larger than former President Barack Obama's), the White House is not culpable for editing the video.
In spite of that report, CNN's Alisyn Camerota fueled the flames of Maddow's conspiracy theory Wednesday morning.
CNN analyst and Washington Post writer Max Boot quipped that the White House had engaged in "Orwellian editing" in a comment that seemed to indicate a sense of aloofness to the fact that his Post colleague had thoroughly debunked the "news" segment from MSNBC.
No matter where you move the goalposts, Maddow asserted that the White House edited the video. That clearly didn't happen.— Philip Bump (@pbump) July 25, 2018