A Twitter account known for sharing satirical videos was suspended on Monday after posting a doctored video featuring former President Donald Trump and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
The account, run by a user known as Paul Lahticks, purported to show Sinema enthusiastically introducing Trump during a recent rally.
“BREAKING: After teaming up with Mitch McConnell today in Louisville to give a speech on Bipartisanship, Krysten Sinema introduces Donald Trump,” the now-deleted tweet said.
Sinema has received widespread attention for regularly pushing back against her party’s agenda. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to Sinema as “the most effective first-term senator” he’s ever seen prior to her speech on Monday at the McConnell Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
“She is, today, what we have too few of in the Democratic Party: a genuine moderate and a deal-maker,” McConnell said.
Although the majority of Twitter users saw through the poor-quality video, some appeared to believe it was true.
“I deleted the tweet showing Krysten Sinema talking while Trump is behind her,” one user who shared the video said. “It looked fake, and turns out it was, but it’s hard to tell these days. I’ll try to do better. There’s enough of that going around. It doesn’t have to come from me, too.”
Before having his account suspended, @PaulLahticks, whose Twitter bio states that he’s “Changing the world by any MEMES necessary,” lashed out at users who accused him of spreading disinformation.
“Look to all the newcomers that can’t seem to grasp the simple fucking concept of ‘political satire’ and got their snowflaked panties all in bunch because it’s ‘not real’, FUCK off,” he wrote. “It’s fun, it’s funny – and if you’re being honest it’s not that far off from really happening.”
The video is based on footage from a 2015 rally in Las Vegas where a Hispanic woman on stage enthusiastically shared her support for Trump. Sinema’s face was merely placed over the woman’s and framed as a recent event.
While many have referred to the video as a deepfake, it is unclear if artificial intelligence or machine learning was actually used in the clip’s creation.
The Daily Dot was unable to contact @PaulLahticks for comment. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on the account’s suspension as well.