Mark Walker, Republican candidate for the 6th Congressional District, denounced what he calls a “deepfake” video that was posted on Tuesday by the First Freedoms Foundation, a PAC in support of Col. Christian Castelli who is one of Walker’s primary opponents.

A video of Walker was used and his campaign says his voice was replaced with AI-generated audio clips. The video dramatizes a conversation between Walker and an “unknown friend.” 

“This is an egregious use of AI technology and sets an example of what not to do in a campaign,” said Paul Shumaker, Walker’s campaign strategist in a press release. “The FEC has already made it clear that false AI content violates federal election law and we intend to explore all legal options.”

“Lying about someone’s private conversations or posting a doctored document or adding sound effects in post-production or manually air-brushing a photograph — if intended to deceive — would already violate our statute,” said FEC commissioner, Allen Dickerson,  during an Aug. 10 meeting. According to the press release, Dickerson believes AI images “grossly misrepresent political candidates and would run afoul of existing regulations.”

Mark Walker previously served the sixth district in Congress from 2015-21. He was defeated by Trump-endorsed Sen. Ted Budd, R-NC, in the Republican primary for Senate in 2022.

Walker is one of six candidates running for the sixth district, including Castelli, Trump-endorsed Addison McDowell, and Bo Hines. Hines lost a 2022 general election race to Democrat Wiley Nickel in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District despite his support from former President Donald Trump.

When in Congress, Walker was elected chair of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), which is the largest caucus in Congress.