Did a fake Donald Trump dupe news hosts? What we know

The owner of conservative news network Real America’s Voice reportedly says that an investigation is required to determine whether the network was duped by a fake version of former President Donald Trump.

The sound of the purported former president’s usually instantly recognizable voice raised eyebrows on social media Thursday night after the airing of a roughly 17-minute phone interview with Real America’s Voice hosts John Solomon and Amanda Head. Some speculated that the voice may have belonged to a Trump impersonator or was created by artificial intelligence.

Newsweek reached out for comment to Trump’s office and Real America’s Voice via email on Thursday night.

While Newsweek has not verified whether the interview was genuine, Real America’s Voice owner Robert Sigg told The Daily Beast reporter Zachary Petrizzo that the voice in the interview “sounds like ChatGOP” and an “internal investigation will be needed” to determine its authenticity, according to a post from Petrizzo on X, formerly Twitter.

Fake Donald Trump Interview What We Know
A mask of former President Donald Trump is pictured being held by an impersonator outside Trump Tower in New York City on April 12, 2023. A peculiar-sounding interview purportedly with Trump sparked speculation that an imposter may have duped conservative news network Real America’s Voice on Thursday.

Additional X posts from Petrizzo noted that host Solomon insisted that the interviewee was “definitely Donald Trump,” while Petrizzo described the sound of the caller as “pretty strange” based on a small clip.

Despite suspicions that the interview was conducted with an impostor, the “Trump” who was interviewed did not seem to make any statements that were noticeably out of character for the former president, repeating frequent lines about “perfect” phone calls and “rigged” elections.

However, the voice of the person being interviewed did seemingly glitch out on multiple occasions. The voice also offered repeated praise for Real America’s Voice, including at one point asking when the network would “get a Pulitzer Prize” for being “right about Russia and so many other things.”

The phrasing of the voice and the choice of vocabulary did closely resemble that of the former president. At least one person suggested that Trump may have really taken part in the interview, with his voice having been fed through a filter that changed it almost beyond recognition.

“The call was clearly run through a software in an attempt to enhance the ‘quality’ (Likely the free Adobe Enhance one.),” wrote X user @OaklandKnight, before sharing a short video demonstrating the software in action. “Below is a recent Trump phone interview raw, and then with the enhancing software applied about 10 seconds in:”

Deepfake and artificial intelligence technology for both video and audio has dramatically improved in recent years, sparking concerns from some that cloned likenesses may soon become indistinguishable from the real thing.

Using the technology to create fake versions of prominent figures making false and potentially damaging statements could have a particularly devastating impact on the political world.

Trump was active on Truth Social Thursday night but had not mentioned or shared any content from his purported interview on Real America’s Voice at the time of publication. However, he did re-share an unrelated post from Solomon earlier in the day.

Real America’s Voice promoted the interview on multiple platforms, despite Sigg having told Petrizzo that an investigation may be required to determine whether Trump was really interviewed.

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