‘I like Trump. I do NOT like this’: AI images of fmr. president spark heated Twitter debate

Images of former President Donald Trump depicted as a member of the armed forces sparked backlash alongside accusations of “cult worship” and “stolen valor.”

Daily advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) appear to be blurring the line separating artistic expression from mis-, dis-, and malinformation. Monday, nonprofit ACT for America founder Brigitte Gabriel was perceived as crossing that line when she posted a series of AI-generated images of Trump in combat-ready roles.

“This is what a President looks like,” Gabriel captioned the first in her series that featured Trump as a member of the U.S. Navy before later posting an image of him in the jungle looking like a soldier that read, “President Trump is defending America in ways Biden will never comprehend.”

Each was hit with a Community Notes tag pointing to the fact that the images were not real but AI-generated as well as the first noting the president “never served in the military due to a medical exemption,” and the second reporting, “He avoided the Vietnam War draft through a podiatry claim.”

Though garnering thousands of likes each, the images were disapproved of by many including veterans who perceived the depictions as a slight against those who served.

Unable to resist the pile-on, former Illinois congressman, U.S. Air Force pilot, and current Air National Guard Lt. Col. Adam Kinzinger tacked on “Stolen Valor.”

To that, Gabriel replied bluntly, “He’s the Commander in Chief. Show him some respect.”

In case it wasn’t clear that her images were not meant to be seen as actual representations but rather symbolic of Trump’s leadership, Gabriel had also posted an AI-generated depiction of the president in a Revolutionary War era uniform with the caption, “President Trump is a modern day founding father.”

As reactions continued to pour in responding to the series of Trump portraits, Gabriel added another to the mix on Tuesday showing the president surrounded by an ethereal glow and holding a crucifix.

For this image, she included a caption with the praying hands emoji and wrote, “It’s time for America to turn back to God.”

This, too, was met with backlash as accusations of idolatry were bandied about.

Responding to the criticism, Gabriel reminded users what the image was and was not a depiction of: “President Trump is holding a crucifix. Symbolic because he is a President who defends religious liberty and Christianity. Of course I would never claim President Trump is God or Jesus.”

Later comments appeared to relate back to the controversy over the images as she wrote, “Everyone is always looking to be offended about something in 2023. Everyone is always jumping to conclusions without all the facts in 2023. What happened to society?” and, “Cancel culture is ruining the country.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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