It's been another awful day for CNN, though Trump's favorite "fake news" network to mock, and its notoriously grandstanding reporter, don't appear to have figured that out just yet.
Social users were quick to accuse the press secretary of "editing" the footage to make Mr Acosta's movement appear more forceful.
Under fire for manufacturing a rationale to deny Acosta access to the White House complex, Sanders on Thursday refused to back down, even as the video she shared was reported to have come from the right-wing conspiracy website Infowars.com.
Farid notes that the fierce debate over the video is in some ways more risky than the actual altered video, since it makes the public skeptical of even authentic unaltered footage.
"The video was not "doctored" by me - all I did was zoom in on the original from the Daily Wire", Watson said.
They do not match up exactly because of differences in video format, but appear to be consistent through the first 12 frames.
However, the footage Sanders shared was missing the audio, zoomed in and repeated.
In a three-and-a-half minute segment interviewing Acosta on the night that his credentials were revoked, not once did CNN play the part of the video which shows Acosta's treatment of the intern.
However, a claim that the video was sped up and doctored went viral. "When you report Fake News, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people". "It's not AI-generated or completely false". After Acosta accused Sanders of telling a "lie" about what went down, Sanders tweeted out a video clip showing Acosta clearly pushing the intern's arm down. "This video analysis by BuzzFeed News demonstrates what the GIF conversion process does to video. History will not be kind to you", he wrote.
"The question is: did the reporter make contact or not?" she said in a statement.
While the origin of the manipulated video is unclear, its distribution marked a new low for an administration that has been criticized for its willingness to mislead.
"A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere", the statement said. Wait. You know why we need the people? They are not only risky, the are disturbingly un-American. I want them to come into the country but they have to come in through a process.
Trump called Acosta a "rude, awful person" and an "enemy of the people" at Wednesday's post-election question-and-answer session with reporters. During the intern's final attempt, as she tried to pull the microphone away, Acosta's hand appeared to briefly brush her arm. Sanders said on Twitter that the White House would "never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern", though no video evidence has so far supported that claim.
The seconds-long interaction has been analyzed in excruciating detail and likened to a 21st-century "Zapruder film", the closely scrutinized amateur video of late President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963.
Here's the scene from a different angle. She said that "on the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist".
InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson posted this to his Twitter account on Wednesday evening.