Did Donald Trump Record His Latest Twitter Video in Front of a Green Screen?

You decide.

Screenshot/White House

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I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time today staring at this video of Donald Trump pretending that nobody knows he’s 74 years old. Never mind the totally insane content of the video—we at Mother Jones are obsessed with whether this was filmed before a green screen. What to make of the trees in the back right that seem to sway on loop? What about the orangish fleck that flutters away at 0:36?

None of us can be sure. But here are some attempts at solving the mystery:

“Let’s just say if I wanted to give something like this a fake background, I would use a depth-of-field blur exactly like that. But the biggest reason I think it’s fake is the trees move like they’re on a loop.” —Adam Vieyra, creative director

“Trust in our public institutions has been so degraded that it’s not completely out of bounds to wonder if the White House is releasing manipulated videos of the president to prove he’s in good health. Four years ago, if you’d told me these are the conspiracy theories we’d be entertaining, I would’ve laughed in your face.” —Nathalie Baptiste, reporter

“I don’t think it’s a green screen because their video team is really quite amateurish in a lot of technical ways. I don’t see them pulling off such a perfect chroma key. And also the lens blur/drop-off looks normal if they’re shooting with a mid–focal range lens, ND filters, and a semi-open aperture.” —Mark Helenowski, digital producer

“If they can fake a moon-landing, they can definitely fake an infomercial for seniors. Just kidding! I don’t think they faked this—you can see his hair moving with the breeze.” —Tim Murphy, senior reporter

Still, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who’s usually pretty conspiracy theory–averse, tweeted:

 And Christopher Orr, the Atlantic’s film critic, wrote:

Update 6:09 p.m. ET: Orr has relented.

Green screen or no green screen? You be the judge.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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