“We’re doing this to remind people that Donald Trump has screwed things up” Lincoln Project Launches Ad with AI-Generated Fred Trump Following Donald Trump’s Court Loss

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This month, The Lincoln Project, known for its foundation by ex-Republican strategists who have since become ardent critics of Donald Trump, has escalated its campaign against the former president with a controversial new advertisement. The group, which gained notoriety for its provocative ads targeting Trump, has now employed artificial intelligence to create a striking portrayal of Trump’s late father, Fred Trump, expressing disdain for his son by stating, “I’m ashamed of you!”

The timing of this bold advertising move coincides with a significant legal setback for Trump. He recently faced a major defeat in a civil fraud case in New York, where the judgment delivered a severe blow to his financial and business dealings. If the verdict withstands the appeal process, Trump is set to incur civil fines exceeding $350 million.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Tuesday evening, Lincoln Project strategist Tara Setmayer explained a bit of the thinking behind this stunt.

“Donald Trump’s entire existence has been about trying to please his daddy,” said Setmayer. “And his father always knew he was a screwup. And a line that was written in that ad, if you watch the whole thing, it says, ‘I may have lost my mind, but I never lost my businesses.’ And haunting Donald Trump is the ghost of Fred Trump. And this may not be the only time he hears that.”

This penalty is the consequence of findings that he and his organization engaged in a systematic practice of inflating the values of properties within the Trump Organization portfolio. This inflation was purportedly done to gain favorable terms on loans and to reduce tax liabilities, casting a shadow over Trump’s business ethics and practices.

Moreover, the repercussions of the case extend beyond the hefty fines, as Trump is also facing a three-year prohibition from conducting any business activities within the state of New York. This restriction poses a significant hindrance to Trump’s business operations, potentially impacting his financial interests and future ventures in one of the United States’ most pivotal commercial hubs.

“We’re doing this to remind people that Donald Trump has screwed things up,” said Setmayer. “His father’s business — he didn’t build it, his father did. This is the same guy who bankrupted casinos, steaks, vodka, water, charities — I mean, the list is very long here, but yeah, people think he’s a successful businessman? No, he’s not.”

She also promised, “We’ll continue to poke at him on that.”

The Lincoln Project’s latest advertisement, by invoking the image and voice of Fred Trump through artificial intelligence, seeks to add a personal and poignant dimension to the public discourse surrounding Trump’s recent legal and ethical challenges. By portraying a figure as central to Trump’s life and identity as his father expressing disappointment, the ad aims to resonate on a deeper emotional level, further intensifying the scrutiny and criticism Trump faces in the aftermath of his legal troubles.

Donald Trump’s entire life has been about gaining his father’s approval. But Fred Trump has always known that Donald was nothing but a screwup. @TaraSetmayer on @MSNBC details the purpose and framing behind our latest ad ripping into Trump.

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