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This is now the most bizarre US presidential election ever

Published Sep 22nd, 2020 3:19PM EDT
Election Day 2020
Image: Al Drago - Pool via CNP/MEGA

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  • Ahead of Election Day 2020, Russian state media has just released a somewhat fawning yet utterly bizarre deepfake video of Donald Trump.
  • In the video, President Trump seems to be checking out the offices of the RT news outlet, where he’s ostensibly been offered a job as a guest anchor after losing the election to Joe Biden.
  • This comes at the same time as reports have emerged of a CIA assessment that Russian president Vladimir Putin and his aides are “aware of and probably directing” a Russian influence operation aimed at undermining Joe Biden’s candidacy.

The video opens with the sight of a black limousine rolling into view. It’s somewhere in Moscow, post-Election Day 2020. The logo of RT (aka Russia Today, aka Russian state media) is plastered on the side of the limousine, out of which steps a faux Donald Trump.

What it quickly becomes clear that you’re watching is a deepfake video — prepared, we must stress, by Russian state media — in which we soon learn that the US president has just lost the election to Joe Biden, and he’s now getting his first look at the RT office, where he’s been offered a spot as a guest anchor (I guess as a kind of consolation prize?). The video, which you can check out below, uses Trump’s actual words and voice, while his face has been somewhat crudely superimposed onto the body of an actor. The first words we hear from the faux Trump: “It was a very nice offer from President Putin, and I could have said no thank you, or I could have said thank you,” he says, ostensibly about the guest anchor spot on RT. “And I said … I’ll take it.”

Cut to Trump sitting behind an RT anchor desk, squinting at the text scrolling on a teleprompter. “I can’t read this,” faux Trump laments, doing that weird gesture he does with both hands when he’s speaking. “They change fast. Changes so fast.”

Elsewhere, we see faux Trump oohing and aaahing over the walls of the Kremlin. The whole thing is just … super weird. In one scene in the video, someone who looks like a network representative seems to be pitching Trump on a show called Putin’s Apprentice, an obvious nod to the NBC show that Trump popularized, with an image showing Trump standing next to Russia’s president.

“If all doesn’t go well for Donald Trump at the polls on November 3, then don’t worry Mr. President, just hop on a plane to Moscow because there’s a job waiting for you at RT,” reads a very real post on the very real RT website.

“After all, the mainstream media has accused RT and Trump of working together to swing elections for years, so they might as well do it for real. What would it look like? Well, here is footage of the secret negotiations that have already taken place.”

The release of this deepfake video comes at the same time as a new report from The Washington Post which asserts that the CIA believes Russian president Vladimir Putin and some of his close aides are “aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations” to undermine Joe Biden’s 2020 candidacy. An effort presumably aimed at helping Trump win re-election.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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