Fact Check: 'CNN' Video Of Joe Biden Speaking About Oil Smuggling Is NOT Authentic -- It's AI-Generated With Voice Added

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: 'CNN' Video Of Joe Biden Speaking About Oil Smuggling Is NOT Authentic -- It's AI-Generated With Voice Added AI-Generated

Does a video circulating on social media show a CNN report with President Joe Biden speaking about oil smuggling in Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela? No, that's not true: The video clip is not authentic. This exact clip is available from a celebrity voice-generating app. This clip featuring the likeness of Joe Biden has an AI-generated voice delivering a customizable message.

The video (archived here) was published on TikTok by @user8264103848525 on February 16, 2024. The post had no caption and the video had CNN News logos and white text added with text reading:


This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Feb 19 17:06:57 2024 UTC)

In this 18-second video clip, the AI-generated voice which resembles Joe Biden's voice says:

The governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela tried to get around our sanctions by secretly piping and shipping out petroleum on untraceable vessels. Dead divers and pipelines below the sea and crewless ships spewing petroleum in Tobago tell us what we need to know and we'll end it.

The subject of this audio appears to be an oil spill that occurred on February 7, 2024, off the shore of Tobago island, and a February 28, 2022, incident that resulted in the deaths of four underwater welders in Trinidad.

The focus of this fact check is not the Tobago incident; it is the inauthentic video clip of AI-generated remarks falsely attributed to Biden.

The video footage of Biden was sourced from a 25-minute CBS News "60 Minutes" interview (pictured below) which was posted on YouTube on September 18, 2022. A text search of the interview transcript does not contain the words: Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela or divers. Biden does mention the word petroleum, but in a different context. At 5:34 minutes in the interview Biden said:

For example, remember I got some criticism for releasing a million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.


(Image source: YouTube screenshot taken on Mon Feb 19 20:11:59 2024 UTC)

A reverse image search with a screenshot from the altered video brings up many versions of this clip (search archived here). These clips have audio tracks on different topics with an artificially generated voice sounding like Biden's. Some of the video clips have a watermark that says, "Made with TryParrotAI.com." One channel, called @BIDENTALKS23367 has three video reels featuring this same short clip, each with different audio. In the Lead Stories composite image below, arrows point to a blur visible across the lines on Biden's striped shirt collar which is not present in the "60 Minutes" video. This is likely an artifact from the AI program which syncs the mouth movements to the audio. This artifact is present in all of these watermarked clips, and the unmarked Trinidad and Tobago video posted on TikTok -- pointing to TryParrotAI.com as the source of the TikTok video as well.


(Image source: Lead Stories composite image made with YouTube screenshot taken on Mon Feb 19 21:27:34 2024 UTC)

TryParrotAI.com has a paid subscription that allows videos to be made without the watermark. The website advertises three steps to "make your favorite celebrity say anything":

1) Pick any celebrity - Select from our giant library of celebs

2) Type what they should say - Write whatever you want them to say

3) Create and share - Easily download and share your video

Additional Lead Stories fact checks on AI-generated deep fakes can be found here.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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