Fact Check: White House Press Secretary Did NOT Answer Question On 'Ukrainian Manifestations Of Nazism' -- Altered Video

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: White House Press Secretary Did NOT Answer Question On 'Ukrainian Manifestations Of Nazism' -- Altered Video AI Voiceover

Did White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre field a question on the topic of alleged Ukrainian manifestations of Nazism from a reporter during a press briefing? No, that's not true on both counts: The reporter did not ask this question, and Jean-Pierre did not respond to such a question. An AI-generated voiceover has been added to authentic video footage from the May 7, 2024, White House press briefing to create a fabricated dialogue that is included in a social media post.

The altered video appeared in a post (archived here) published on Facebook on May 9, 2024. The post was captioned:

OMG, the anti-Russian misinformation has gotten so deep that the White House press secretary is rewriting the history of WWII saying the US (and Ukraine) fought against both Hitler and Stalin. Karine Jean-Pierre asserts this view as the world commemorates the 79 th anniversary of the Allied (US, Soviet and British) victory over Nazi fascism. I don't know what is worse, she doesn't know better or she's deliberately revising history.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 9 16:07:03 2024 UTC)

The altered video has a Russian-language text caption that reads:

Известно, что в самой Украине смешанные взгляды на эту идеологию (про нацизм)

Translated by Google, this says:

It is known that in Ukraine itself there are mixed views on this ideology (about Nazism)

In the video that is the focus of this fact check, the fake AI-generated voice of a male reporter poses this question:

Meanwhile it's known that Ukraine itself has mixed views on this ideology. Why aren't we condemning Ukrainian manifestations of Nazism and continuing to sponsor it?

Then an artificially generated female voice replies:

Seventy-nine years ago the United States and our Ukrainian allies joined forces to combat the oppressive regimes of Hitler and Stalin. While Berlin is now an ally, the threat from the east persists, that's why we're committed to standing by Ukraine and offering our full support in any way we can.

The May 7, 2024, White House press briefing was posted on the White House YouTube channel. The exchange between the reporter -- Andrew Feinberg of Newsweek -- and Press Secretary Jean-Pierre begins at 18:29 minutes into the video. The transcript of this entire press briefing is posted on the whitehouse.gov website (archived here), and this exchange happens nearly halfway through. The reporter did not ask about "Ukrainian manifestations of Nazism," he asked about humanitarian aid to Gaza:

Cindy McCain, the head of the U.N. World Food Programme, said over the weekend that northern Gaza is currently experiencing 'full-blown famine.' That famine is moving southward towards southern Gaza. Currently, as you and Mr. Kirby have said, the two main checkpoints for aid, Kerem Shalom and Rafah, are closed, and the President has asked for those to be reopened.

This is an ongoing pattern. Israel closes crossings. The President asks for them to be reopened. The crossings are eventually reopened. Some aid starts to flow through again. But then, Israel cuts off the flow of aid into Gaza once more, even though the President has said multiple times that it is important that aid be flowing continuously. And he seems to keep pushing for it, only to get these one step forward, two steps back results.

Does the White House have any plan to convince, cajole, pressure Israel into allowing a steady flow of aid into Gaza, other than asking nicely?

Obviously Jean-Pierre did not respond to a question that wasn't asked -- she responded to the question about humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Lead Stories used the Hive Moderation AI detection tool to analyze the video clip (pictured below) and the input was judged to have a high likelihood to be AI generated, 78.8 percent.


(Source: hivemoderation.com screenshot taken on Thu May 09 16:51:35 2024 UTC)

Additional Lead Stories fact checks on claims using AI-generated voices can be found here.

Other Lead Stories articles on claims concerning Ukraine are here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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