GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump posted the false claim on his Twitter account January 3rd that Hillary Clinton is featured in a new recruiting video by the Somalian terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
The incorrect information was based on a now deleted tweet by National Review writer Stephen Miller that was picked up by blog The Right Scoop and their blogger Sooper Mexican, who posted a story titled Media gleefully reporting al-Shabab (sic) video with Trump, IGNORES Hillary and ‘Black Lives Matter’ are in it TOO! As of January 14th, 2016 that story remains active and uncorrected.
The recently released video from the Al Qaeda-affiliated group does not, in fact, feature Hillary Clinton, who is the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. I have looked at two copies of the Al Shabaab video that have been posted online and after throughly examaning both videos, neither features Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, an explanation posted by Sooper Mexican and attributed to National Review writer reveals that he did not grab frames from the actual video but from a minute news report about the videos. Neither Miller or Sooper Mexican have retracted or corrected their false claim.
On Sunday night, Donald Trump’s twitter account posted:
By the way, Hillary & the MSM forgot to mention that Hillary is in the Al-Shabaab terror video. https://t.co/gRannsRXJr
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2016
As this article went to press, the tweet was still on Trump’s twitter time and had over 4,300 retweets and over 7,300 Likes..
Donald Trump based his tweet on a claim made by National Review writer Stephen Miller, who repeatedly refused to answer questions from this reporter about his claim that the video features Hillary Clinton. Miller has removed the tweet from his own timeline.
Uncorrected Falsehoods Matter
This uncorrected falsehood should be a concern for Trump supporters as well as those who count on conservative media to have higher standard of veracity than the mainstream media.
The gaffe by Donald Trump comes with the Iowa caucuses less than a month away and the New Hampshire primary shortly after that. With Texas Sen. Ted Cruz gaining in the polls, the sharks are circling for Donald Trump, who has avoided any serious damage to his polling numbers through mistakes in the past.
The erroneous claim about Clinton appearing in the Al-Shabaab recruiting video is an unfortunate and unforced error by Donald Trump. Trump had had the upper hand on the issue, after Hillary Clinton declared in the December 19 Democratic presidential debate that the terrorist group Isis was using Trump to recruit. That claim was patently false.
When the story broke on January 2nd thatTrump was featured in a new Al-Shabaab video, the Republican front runner had proof of a clear case of media bias. As I reportd on Breitbart News, the media had unfairly singled Donald Trump out for his appearance in a terrorist recruiting video while ignoring the fact that Pres. Obama had been featured into terrorist recruiting videos from the groups ISIS and a previous 2013 video by Al-Shabaab.
Trump had won the battle over the Al-Shabaab video until he trusted the journalism of National Review’s Stephen Miller and Sooper Mexican.
Media Malpractice by Stephen Miller & Sooper Mexican
On January 2, Stephen Miller made the claim on his twitter account that liberals had ignored Hillary Clinton’s appearance in the newest Al-Shabaab video. In that tweet, he also posted two frames that he claimed were from the video.
When asked for a link to the video by other Twitter urder, Miller demurred saying that he did not want to post a link to a terrorist video. This is a false claim by Miller; he had not looked at a terrorist viddeo.
I noticed the tweet by Trump claiming Hillary was in the video and it seemed valid to me at first, too. I generally like the work of Miller and Sooper, and it seemed plausible that Hillary was in the video. Like Trump, I trusted them at first.
Looking at the actual video posted by Al-Shabaab, however, I couldn’t find Hillary Clinton.
I asked Miller repeatedly and politely where Clinton was. Even though, Miller was online and tweeting at the time, he completely ignored me.
Eventually, I went though the entire vide0 on a granular level. This video I made shows every 15th frame of the video and you’ll see Hillary is nowhwhere to be seen.
What Actually Happened: Coverup Is Worse Than The Crime
Is it possible Miller looked at a different copy of the Al-Shabaab terror video?
No. We know for a fact that is not what happened. We don’t need conjecture; Miller and Sooper gives the answer in the Update to the post on RightScoop — Miller didn’t see the origincal but a news story about the video.
No, they do not actually admit that this is what happned. Instead they continue to mislead readers. However, the evidence they supply shows watch really went down.
An explanation posted by Sooper Mexican and attributed to Miller that came after this reporter began publicly questioning Miller’s claim that Hillary Clinton was in the video said:
Entire video that I saw had the film reel slots (on the side) you see in screen caps from my tweet. The screencaps are not manipulated by any way.
Video is now removed from YouTube (YouTube TOS or viewer removed it). My screen caps were taken without manipulation. In video Is Anwar Al Awaki speaking. Next was insert of Trump. Next was insert of alwaki and then Hillary and then the Black Live Matter clip. I did not link to to this video directly in my tweet because of Twitter TOS and especially new TOS in light of San Bernardino terror attacks. Twitter just recently announced new conduct rules. I wasn’t about to have my account banned because I linked to an Al Qaeda in Somalia recruitment Video (Worth nothing, no media source on twitter linked to the original video either). I even stated this the day of or after if you follow the thread.
Miller provided this link which shows a deleted video:
And also this description that has been cached by Google shows it was al-Shabab, and tags Hillary Clinton:
The explanation and the link prove Stephen Miller’s shoddy reporting. Looking at the link of the now deleted video, it’s clear that Miller grabbed frames from a one minute news story about the Al-Shabaab video, not the actual Al-Shabaab video itself. The explanation on the YouTube makes it clear that it’s a news story, and that the actual video is 51 minutes long. There is no possible way, Miller could’ve believed the video he was looking at was the actual complete Al-Shabaab terrorist recruiting video.
I did these screengrabs from the link Miller and Sooper supplied. They choose to not show them to their readers.
It’s clear that the video Miller claimed (and continues to claim) is the terrorist video is, in fact, a news story ABOUT the terrorist video.
For reasons that aren’t clear, Miller and Sooper chose not to correct this mistake.
The mistake is unfortunate, because it ignores the important detail that the video is actively recruiting members of the Black Lives Matter movement to become Islamic jihadist. That story has been buried both by the mainstream media and by Miller and Sooper Mexican’s false report.
Should Trump be the eventual Republican nominee for President, the media will be out to get him. Hillary Clinton will be able to make error after error, misstatement after misstatement and walk away unscathed by the mainstream media. Trump, or frankly any Republican nominee, will be hammered mercilessly for every statement that might possibly even be construed as incorrect. Trumps supporters should hope that their candidate vets his sources more carefully in the future.