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.

This post was brought to you by the Mother Jones Daily newsletter, which hits inboxes every weekday and is written by Ben Dreyfuss and Abigail Weinberg, and regularly features guest contributions by our much smarter colleagues. Sign up for it here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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