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Attack ad from Greg Abbott edits Beto O'Rourke recording to create deceptive soundbites about police 

Beto O'Rourke presses the flesh at a recent campaign appearance in San Antonio. - MERADITH GARCIA
  • Meradith Garcia
  • Beto O'Rourke presses the flesh at a recent campaign appearance in San Antonio.
A campaign ad for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott includes "deceptive" edits of challenger Beto O'Rourke's appearance on a 2020 podcast, manipulating his words so it appears he wants to abolish police departments, according to a CNN investigation.

The 30-second ad, which Abbott, a Republican, began running in late October includes three separate instances where key words from the O'Rourke interview are cut up and reassembled in a deceptive manner, the network reports. The clip intersperses footage of Democrat O'Rourke discussing police reform with video of riots and looting.

An edit CNN describes as "especially egregious" fuses together phrases from three separate sentences O'Rourke said during the podcast. That manipulation makes it sound like the former El Paso congressman's comments on Black Lives Matter's place in the tradition of civil rights activism was instead a call to defunding cops and dismantling police departments.

Another edit sliced out several of O'Rourke's words to make it sound like he was praising Black Lives Matter activists for championing the idea of defunding the police, CNN reports. Instead, O'Rourke commended activists for raising the idea that communities should eliminate "line items that have overmilitarized our police."

A third manipulation of the audio trimmed key words to make it sound like O'Rourke advocated "dismantling" police departments, according to the investigation. In the original recording, the Democrat said he favored dismantling "and rebuilding" departments in "some necessary cases."

Abbott campaign spokesman Mark Miner declined to directly address questions about the doctored words in the ad, CNN reports. Instead, he would only say the following: "Beto O'Rourke clearly supports dismantling and defunding the police and he will need to explain his anti-law enforcement policies to the people of Texas."

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