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High-stakes Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., is distancing himself from a report that one of his former campaign consultants hired a magician to create a fake of President Biden urging New York voters Hampshire to not participate in last month’s primary.

Paul Carpenter, a New Orleans magician, came forward and said he had made the deepfake for $1 and that a Democratic consultant Steve Kramer had paid him $150 to do it, according to an NBC report. Kramer is a get-out-the-vote specialist who worked on ballot access for Phillips’ campaign and also worked on Kanye West’s failed 2020 presidential campaign.

“I am disgusted that a consultant hired to assist my campaign (with) ballot access spoofed a robocall posing as Joe Biden,” Phillips wrote in X on Friday.

“Although I do not know the person, such behavior is despicable and I am confident that it will be investigated by the authorities. It is also despicable that the Party actively limits access to state ballots and expels accredited consultants who would otherwise work with rivals like me “Corruption in politics is pervasive and must be exposed and addressed.”

Phillips’ campaign told NBC that its relationship with Kramer ended weeks ago after he finished his work collecting signatures to get Phillips on the ballot in certain states.

“If it is true that Mr. Kramer was involved in creating phony robocalls, he did so of his own volition, which had nothing to do with our campaign,” Phillips’ press secretary, Katie Dolan, told NBC in a statement.

US presidential election candidate Dean Philips speaks at an event flanked by his supporters.

A Democratic operative linked to presidential candidate Dean Philips, pictured, has been accused of paying a man to create a fake robocall from President Joe Biden urging New Hampshire voters not to attend the state’s primary next month. past. (Mel Musto/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


“The core notion of our campaign is the importance of competition, choice and democracy. We are disgusted to learn that Mr. Kramer is allegedly behind this call, and if the allegations are true, we absolutely denounce his actions.”

Meanwhile, Kramer, a longtime political operative, told NBC he will give his side of the story in a Saturday op-ed.

Carpenter shared text messages, call logs and Venmo transactions with NBC to back up his claim about a scheme now at the center of a multi-state police investigation.

“I created the audio used in the robocall. I did not distribute it,” Carpenter told NBC. “I found myself in a situation where someone offered me some money to do something and I did it. There was no malicious intent. I didn’t know how it was going to be distributed.”

The date New Hampshire set for its primary on Tuesday does not comply with the DNC’s 2024 presidential nominating schedule. Holding an unauthorized primary meant President Biden was not on the New Hampshire ballot, but Granite State Democrats launched a write-in campaign in an attempt to avoid an electoral embarrassment for the president as he runs for a second term in the White House.

“What a load of nonsense. You know the value of voting Democrat when our votes count. It’s important that you save your vote for the November election,” the voice says in a recording of the message obtained by NBC News.

President Joe Biden on a phone call

Magician Paul Carpenter says Democratic consultant Steve Kramer paid him $150 to create President Biden’s fake voicemail, pictured. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)


“We will need your help to elect Democrats at all levels. Voting this Tuesday only allows Republicans in their quest to re-elect Donald Trump. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday.”

Biden’s fake calls reached between 5,000 and 25,000 people, according to the NBC investigation citing authorities.

The caller ID sounded as if it came from the former chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, who was running a write-in campaign for Biden at the time.

Following the revelations, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella announced an investigation into the calls, while the Federal Communications Commission has declared AI-generated robocalls that imitate the voices of political candidates to mislead voters illegal. .

Formella said investigators had identified Texas-based Life Corp. as the source of the calls and that the calls were transmitted by another Texas-based company, Lingo Telecom.


Carpenter told NBC News that he was going to report the deepfake because he regrets his involvement and wants to warn people about how easy it is to use AI to deceive.

“It’s so scary that it’s so easy to do,” Carpenter said. “People are not prepared for it.”

New Hampshire officials announce investigation into robocalls

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella describes the investigation into robocalls that used artificial intelligence to imitate President Joe Biden’s voice and discourage people from voting in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, during a press conference in Concord, NH, on Monday. February 6, 2024 Magician Paul Carpenter says Democratic consultant Steve Kramer paid him $150 to create President Biden’s fake voicemail urging New Hampshire voters not to participate in last month’s primary. (Amanda Gokee/The Boston Globe via AP)

He said it cost him $1 and he was paid $150, according to Venmo payments he shared with the outlet, while he was also able to provide them with the original audio version.

Carpenter said he also created two deepfakes of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. asked Republican presidential primary voters which candidate they supported and believed that all three calls had been authorized by the respective campaigns. She said she had not heard of Phillips before making the deepfakes.

Carpenter told NBC that he met Kramer through a mutual acquaintance and that Kramer had become interested in the creator’s experience with AI.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Greg Norman contributed to this report.

By Sam