Investigation Into Fake Phone Calls Heats Up

You read that correctly: “A Magician.”

According to an NBC News report, magician Paul Carpenter was allegedly hired by a popular Democrat operative, Steve Kramer, to create an AI-generated robocall that was used during the New Hampshire primary.

“I created the audio used in the robocall. I did not distribute it,” Carpenter said in an interview in New Orleans. “I was 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.”

From NBC News:

A Democratic consultant who worked for a rival presidential campaign paid a New Orleans magician to use artificial intelligence to impersonate President Joe Biden for a robocall that is now at the center of a multistate law enforcement investigation, according to text messages, call logs and Venmo transactions the creator shared with NBC News.

Paul Carpenter says he was hired in January by Steve Kramer — who has worked on ballot access for Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips — to use AI software to make the imitation of Biden’s voice urging New Hampshire Democrats not to vote in the state’s presidential primary.

Carpenter told NBC News he came forward to expose the dangers of AI and show how easy it is to mislead people. The magician said it took him less than 20 minutes to create the audio recording for Kramer and he was paid $150 “according to Venmo payments from Kramer and his father, Bruce Kramer, that he shared.”

The robocall was used during the New Hampshire primary and numerous law enforcement agencies are investigation. Officials have reported that a Dallas company was used to make the calls however no other information has been released.

NBC News has also claimed that Kramer was paid $259,946 by Democrat Congressman Dean Phillips who is running against Biden in the Democrat primary.

More from NBC News (due to the seriousness of this post yeah we are doing a lot of quotes to keep fact checkers happy):

Federal Election Commission records show that Steve Kramer was paid $259,946 by Phillips’ campaign in December and January. The payments were for ballot access work in New York and Pennsylvania, which includes canvassing for the signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot. The campaign said the work included production and distribution of a robocall that featured Phillips’ voice.

Phillip campaign is freaking out.

“If it is true that Mr. Kramer had any involvement in the creation of deepfake robocalls, he did so of his own volition which had nothing to do with our campaign,” Phillips’ press secretary Katie Dolan said. “The fundamental 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.”

Phillips’ campaign has said that they may pursue legal action against Kramer if the allegations are true.

Carpenter seemed to know what he was doing was sketch and kept all of the records regarding his interactions with Kramer.

Folks, this case is bonkers and I hope that $150 was worth it because the lawyer he is going to need is going to cost a lot more than that.

This story isn’t going to go away, and it appears that a congressman and a consultant have A LOT of explaining to do.

NBC News goes into the details and the interactions between the magician (I still chuckle at this) and the popular democrat consultant click here for more.

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