On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that Russia Today (RT), one of the most prominent Russian state-owned networks, posted a satirical “deepfake” video of President Donald Trump accepting a contract to work for the network — overlaid with his actual words, but superimposed with the fake images to create different context.
“The advert starts with Trump rolling up outside RT HQ in a limo and waddling to a dressing room which has the sign ‘Donald Trump: RT Special Host’ on the door,” reported Jamie Ross. “Proudly holding up a signed RT contract which has ‘$1,000,000,000’ scrawled across it in marker pen, the deep-faked Trump says: ‘It was a very nice offer from President Putin.”
“At another point, when the Trump character is apparently lauding the Kremlin for the generous benefits they pay him, he says: ‘They’re very nice. I make a lot of money with them. They pay me millions and hundreds of millions,” said the report. “Those comments are lifted from a campaign rally in 2015, when Trump was praising Saudi Arabia.”
Russian TV has gleefully capitalized on the president’s apparent fondness for Putin and sympathy for his agenda over U.S. interests. During the Ukraine scandal, one host even joked that Trump was their “agent” as they sought to promote conspiracy theories about the U.S. allied country.