ABC News host George Stephanopoulos appeared to make a “slit-the-throat” motion during a live broadcast while Donald Trump’s personal attorney outlined the president’s impeachment defense case.
Stephanopoulos performed the gesture on Thursday, the third day of the Senate impeachment trial against Trump.
Jay Sekulow, Trump’s lawyer, addressed reporters in the Senate basement on Thursday.
Sekulow rebutted House impeachment managers’ case against the president, saying the president’s legal team would be presenting arguments from “multiple schools of thought” that will articulate why Trump’s conduct does not “reach the level” of an impeachable offense.
“We will be putting on a vigorous defense of both facts, and rebutting what they’ve said,” he said. “Our job here is to defend the president, the office of the presidency and the Constitution.”
During a live broadcast of Sekulow’s remarks, ABC News briefly cut back to Stephanopoulos, who could be seen making a motion with his hand across his neck.
The veteran news anchor and former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton was visibly embarrassed after realizing the cameras caught him performing the gesture.
Newsbuster executive editor Tim Graham, who uploaded footage of the moment to Twitter on Thursday, suggested Stephanopoulos’ “slit-the-throat ‘kill’ gesture” was a signal for ABC News to cut away from Sekulow’s remarks.
Shortly after 3 pm Eastern this afternoon, @AoSHQ noted Stephanopoulos was shown on camera making the slit-the-throat "kill" gesture to cut away from Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow taking press questions. These guys are NOT going to like hearing the Trump side of this trial. pic.twitter.com/5QazRGHosV
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) January 24, 2020
“These guys are NOT going to like hearing the Trump side of this trial,” Graham tweeted.
- ABC News host George Stephanopoulos presenting live on January 23, 2020.: Screen grab