A right-wing network’s phone interview with Donald Trump went so poorly that social media users are speculating the voice on the line was an AI impersonator.
Real America’s Voice aired an “exclusive” interview with the former president on Thursday - but it didn’t exactly go to plan.
The 17-minute call with hosts John Soloman and Amanda Head was plagued by consistent cut-outs as the stiff voice purported to be Mr Trump shifted dramatically.
When Real America’s Voice shared a clip of the interview on X, users were quick to speculate that Soloman and Head had been duped by a prank caller or a fake, artificially intelligent version of Mr Trump.
“A fringe, far-right ‘tv news’ network tried to pass off a fake AI Trump tonight to their viewers as a legitimate interview with the disgraced former president,” William Legate wrote.
“LOL/BREAKING: ‘Real America’s Voice’ fooled by ‘Trump Impersonator’s Voice’,” broadcaster Keith Olbermann said.
“This sounds more like a prank caller than like Trump, what on earth?” John Hasson said.
“Uh.. either this is a prank call or President Trump is not doing well. What’s going on with his voice here?” GOP communicator Matt Whitlock added.
Mr Soloman, however, was insistent that nothing nefarious was afoot.
“It’s not AI, it was President Trump,” Mr Solomon told The Daily Beast.
“You can call the staff and check with them yourself. It was definitely President Trump without any doubt,” he added.
Mr Solomon said that he had organised the interview with Mr Trump’s aides, outlined the issues that would be discussed with his staff, and that he “called them at the right location”.
But on Friday morning, The Daily Beast senior media reporter Justin Baragona tweeted an “important update on this story”.
“Real America’s Voice is now saying that the person claiming to be owner Robert Sigg, who told our reporter that he would be investigating whether the network was duped by a fake Trump interview, is not Sigg,” he said.
The apparent update came after Mr Trump shared a clip of the interview himself on Truth Social just after midnight on Friday, writing: “Crooked Joe Biden is the most incompetent President in history, and he’s the most corrupt President in history…”
In an emailed statement to The Independent on Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for Real America’s Voice insisted that it was indeed Mr Trump on the air, “providing his customary insights and wisdom for our millions of viewers”.
Referring to the comments that The Daily Beast initially reported as being from Mr Sigg, the Real America’s Voice spokesperson said it was a “fake quote that The Daily Beast never received from our network”.
The Independent has reached out to The Daily Beast for comment.
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