Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden plays music from his cell phone as he participates in a Hispanic Heritage Month event in Kissimmee, Florida on September 15, 2020 (AFP / Jim Watson)

Trump spreads manipulated video of Biden featuring song by N.W.A.

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved.

A video clip spread by US President Donald Trump on Twitter of Joe Biden at an event in Florida has been digitally altered to replace Spanish-language hit “Despacito” -- which the Democratic candidate played on his phone -- with anti-police brutality anthem “Fuck tha Police.”

“Joe Biden has just ONE thing to say and it ain’t good. Listen to this,” says the September 15, 2020 tweet that includes the video, which Trump spread, first commenting, “What’s this all about?” and then writing: “China is drooling. They can’t believe this!”

The tweets by Trump have garnered tens of thousands of retweets.

Screenshots taken on September 16, 2020 show two tweets by US President Donald Trump

Trump has sought to portray Biden as an anti-police candidate and link him to violence, looting and arson that has broken out during some of the largely peaceful protests against racism and abuses by law enforcement in the United States.

The clip plays into that message.

In the doctored video, Biden says: “I just have one thing to say. Hang on here,” after which hip-hop group N.W.A.’s 1988 classic starts to play, with the Democrat smiling and moving to the music.

But a review of footage of the Hispanic Heritage Month event -- which was tweeted by Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris -- shows Biden actually played “Despacito”, a 2017 song by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi, who had just introduced him.

The account that posted the doctored video described Trump as “our hero” after he spread the clip, which Twitter has labeled “manipulated media.”

“Our hero President @realDonaldTrump shared one of our videos and that is one of the most amazing feelings ever. Thank you so much,” tweeted @TheUnitedSpot1.

While negative campaigning has long been a fixture of American politics, Trump and his team have openly spread digitally altered images during the 2020 campaign.

AFP Fact check has previously debunked misleadingly edited videos that Trump has spread of Biden and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, as well as an ad from his campaign that featured doctored images of his Democratic rival.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp.
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W.G. Dunlop
US Elections 2020