The controversy began with an article published earlier this month on Mediaite bearing the headline: “Exclusive: Roger Stone Spoke With Cop Pal About Assassinating Eric Swalwell and Jerry Nadler.”
In the piece, journalist Diana Falzone maintains that an anonymous source gave her an audio recording in which Stone can be heard saying that some Democratic politicians need to “die before the election” to his friend, former NYPD officer Sal Greco.
This article did not include the recording to back up her claim, so Stone asked her to prove the discussion took place. He told the Daily Mail: “If there is such an audio, why don’t they post it? Why won’t they send it to me? If there is such an audio, it would have to be illegally obtained and if there is such an audio it would have to be an AI generated fraud since I never said any of the words attributed to me.”
Falzone then released what she claimed was the recording given to her by the anonymous source. In the recording, an individual with a voice that sounds like Stone's can be heard stating: “It’s time to do it. Let’s go find Swalwell. It’s time to do it. Then we’ll see how brave the rest of them are. It’s time to do it. It’s either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message. Let’s go find Swalwell and get this over with. I’m just not putting up with this shit anymore.”
Stone immediately defended himself on social media, saying that the audio was most likely created by AI in an attempt to frame him. Some critics have pointed to the fact that in a video report about the recording, Falzone said that it was “lightly edited.” This conflicts with her claim on social media that the contents had not been edited; she has since deleted the post.
Stone has provided proof that AI detecting tests have found there is a very high probability that the audio file features a voice that was generated by AI. One detector concluded there was a 96 percent chance it was AI, while another found a 92 percent chance that it was AI.
An audio expert told the media outlet Rare that the tonal flow of the recording sounded very unnatural to him, and he also suspected that background noise was used to mask flaws in the AI-generated voice.
To further support his claim, Stone shared a video on social media in which an X user used AI-generating audio technology to create a video clip in which a fake Joe Biden can be heard saying: “Let’s go find Swalwell and get it over with. And yes, I stole the 2020 election.”
Whether Falzone was sent fake audio from her anonymous source or Mediaite created it themselves to back up the narrative, numerous media outlets have reported on the audio and shared it, presenting it like it is 100 percent authentic. Swalwell and Nadler have both made comments to the media about the recording as though it were real, and it appears that many people want it to be authentic because it provides them with yet another reason to criticize Trump and his associates.
Swalwell said: “This is what Trump and his real-life thugs do: They try to intimidate opponents and will always choose violence over voting. Because I’m one of Trump’s loudest critics, Stone put a hit out on me.”
Sources for this article include: