A right-wing journalist is insisting that his choppy, strange-sounding 17-minute long interview with former President Donald Trump was real amid speculation that the person on the other end of the line was a prank caller who disguised his voice using artificial intelligence.
John Solomon, a former Fox News contributor who was involved in Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden that led to his first impeachment, posted the lengthy interview he and host Amanda Head did with the former president on social media late Thursday.
In the post from the far-right Real America’s Voice, which features a tape of the call with Trump aired over stock images, the audio is glitchy and Trump’s voice sounds odd, and in some spots it sounds artificial.
But dozens of comments to his post question the former president’s voice in the recording. “Haha, you and a discussion with an AI,” one person responded on X.
“Uh, either this is a prank call or President Trump is not doing well. What’s going on with his voice here?” GOP operative Matt Whitlock posted. He added, “This just sounds bizarre. I can think of three explanations: 1) he’s very sick 2) this is AI 3) they had the staffer with the best impression handle this interview.”
“Man, I wish that was really Trump,” wrote another. “because they brought up some great topics and asked some questions I would’ve loved to hear his answer to.”
Solomon insisted that it was Trump on the call.
“It’s not AI, it was President Trump,” Solomon told The Daily Beast. “You can call the staff and check with them yourself. It was definitely President Trump without any doubt.”
Solomon told the outlet he set up the interview with Trump’s staff, including clearing the topics they would talk about, and “called them at the right location.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, but Trump posted a link to the interview with a comment about “Crooked Joe Biden” on Truth Social early Friday.
Compounding the confusion, The Daily Beast initially reported the story attributing comments from a text exchange with the owner of Real America’s Voice, Robert Sigg saying that he was investigating whether the call was a prank and criticizing network staffers. But it later removed those comments and added an editor’s note that a spokesperson for the channel “said that it was not Sigg and the number used for the exchange was no longer his.”
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