Jimmy Kimmel has issued an apology after first sharing a 40-second video clip on Twitter Thursday that purported to show Vice President Mike Pence delivering empty personal protective equipment boxes to a Virginia health care center. When the clip was determined to be taken out of context from a longer video still available on C-SPAN's website, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host deleted the clip, but took a jab at the administration of President Donald Trump in his retraction.
Quote-tweeting the viral clip shared from his show by Matt McDermott, a pollster and political strategist, Kimmel apologized for saying the boxes were empty, but stood by his assertion that the delivery was a "staged publicity stunt," remarking sarcastically he knows how much the Trump administration "values truth."
it would appear that @vp was joking about carrying empty boxes for a staged publicity stunt. The full video reveals that he was carrying full boxes for a staged publicity stunt. My apologies. I know how dearly this administration values truth. https://t.co/hI9cO4lxcX— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 8, 2020
The controversial video behind all this, claimed to show Pence "caught on camera with a hot mic" as the VP wheels boxes of PPE to the health care facility's door. Returning for a second load of boxes at the trunk of a vehicle, he is told by someone, "Those are empty, sir." Pence then responds, "Well can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?"
In Kimmel's shorter version of the video, he narrates, "Mike Pence pretending to carry empty boxes of PPEs into a hospital is the perfect metaphor for who he is and what he's doing. A big box of nothing, delivering another box of nothing." However, in the longer clip, Pence's question is met with the response, "Absolutely. They're a lot easier," before laughter is heard and the door to the car shuts. It does not appear Pence delivered any of the empty boxes as otherwise suggested.
Jon Thompson, a campaign spokesperson for Pence, accused Kimmel of misleading the public with the clip on Twitter: "This is absolute garbage spread by [Jimmy Kimmel]. Pence is clearly joking about empty boxes & if Kimmel showed the full clip from CSPAN, not the one he selectively edited, you see and hear it." Kimmel's show has yet to issue a formal statement following the fall-out from the video.