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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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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