NBC News is demanding that former President Donald Trump’s campaign take down a parody video clip that is a deepfake of one of its reporters.
The clip uses footage from NBC News correspondent Garrett Haake’s report on the third Republican primary debate and initially appears unedited until about 30 seconds in, when a deepfake voice of Haake begins to introduce the candidates.
“This is Ron DeSantis, an establishment RINO that wears insoles in his boots in order to look taller,” deepfake Haake says, referring to ongoing speculation about DeSantis’ boots and real height.
“And this is Nikki Haley,” the video continues. “Nobody really gives a shit about Nikki Haley.”
The clip goes on to call Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who has since dropped out of the race, “probably just a stage hand,” asks “who the fuck invited” ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and dubs Vivek Ramaswamy as someone “probably just delivering pizzas.”
“Anyway, nobody cares about these bullshit RINO debates, especially when you know that Donald Trump is going to kick some ass tonight,” the voiceover concludes.
Trump campaign advisor Chris LaCivita, who posted the clip last month, added in a second post that in order to keep NBC News’ “Lawyers off my ass, please note….THIS IS A PARODY!”
But that disclosure did not stop NBC News from demanding the deceptively edited clip be removed, Semafor first reported Sunday night. As of Monday morning, the clip remains live on LaCivita’s timeline.
The use of artificial intelligence and deepfake imagery has prompted concerns ahead of the 2024 presidential election, and some efforts have been launched to crack down on its usage in a deceptive manner—parody or not.
A deepfake video of Trump hugging Dr. Anthony Fauci from earlier this year is one example of how AI has been used in a political campaign, while an ad attacking President Joe Biden using artificially generated images is another.
The Lincoln Project was accused of using a deepfake by Trump recently, although it is unclear what Trump was saying had been faked.
Some Democrats have pushed for federal legislation that would similarly require proper disclosure on ads using AI, and there have been efforts at the state level in certain areas as well to regulate the type of ads.
Facebook and Instagram now require political ads to disclose if they were created using artificial intelligence, Meta announced in November.