Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign released an ad Monday with pictures featuring fake images of former President Donald Trump kissing Dr. Anthony Fauci, drawing a firestorm of responses online.
The DeSantis War Room ad showed clips of the former president saying his famous line, “you’re fired,” before switching to videos of Trump praising Fauci and refusing to fire him.
One video clip included six images of Trump and Fauci together, and, despite saying “Real Life Trump” at the top of the frame, featured three AI pictures of the two men either kissing or being physically close.
The three images have the characteristics of being AI-generated, including the appearance of Trump’s hair and the spelling of the signage behind them, AFP said in a fact check.
Donald Trump became a household name by FIRING countless people *on television*
But when it came to Fauci… pic.twitter.com/7Lxwf75NQm
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) June 5, 2023
MAGA Inc., Trump’s Super PAC, criticized the ad as covering up DeSantis’ COVID-19 response.
“Ron DeSantis has to rely on fake images because the real record shows that he’s lying about his COVID response. He shut down Florida and praised Fauci,” MAGA Inc said on Twitter.
The Florida governor and the former president have traded frequent blows about the other’s COVID responses, vaccines and Fauci. Trump could not have directly fired Fauci and the chief White House medical adviser could have appealed his termination, CNN reported, but he could have been sidelined more. (RELATED: Trump’s Fauci Defense: DeSantis Praised Him Too)
Several Republicans jumped in to defend Trump against the use of AI.
I agree. Those fake AI campaign ads need to be taken down immediately. https://t.co/CEPPFGaV4V
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) June 8, 2023
Smearing Donald Trump with fake AI images is completely unacceptable. I’m not sharing them, but we’re in a new era. Be even more skeptical of what you see on the internet.
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) June 8, 2023
While Biden is weaponizing his corrupt DOJ to try to put President Trump in prison, the liars on Team Tiny D are following the dishonest Dem playbook because just like the rest of the Deep State, they’re just that desperate to stop Trump. https://t.co/1V8o6yPswc
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 8, 2023
Others pointed to those close to Trump allegedly using fake pictures or deceptive editing in the past.
I agree no campaign should use AI-generated images or deceptive editing.
So will you also call out the Trump Campaign for doing that too? Or do these rules only apply to DeSantis? pic.twitter.com/4GPYWTHFSS
— Jenna Ellis 🐊🇺🇸 (@JennaEllisEsq) June 8, 2023
They started it. pic.twitter.com/p8C8dURCEI
— Rocky (@wavechaser2024) June 8, 2023
Many users expressed concern about how AI will impact elections and misinformation in the future. (RELATED: Biden Admin Announces Plan To Counter Risks Of AI)
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry from the Daily Caller.