“This is the coolest interview we have seen on CNN”, “this man told the truth” – Internet users comment on the recording, which is circulating on the Internet as a fragment of the conversation on CNN. The invited guest – defending Elon Musk – allegedly accused the station of inciting war. However, this is not a real recording, there was no such conversation.
A half-minute fragment of an interview allegedly conducted by CNN is being spread on social media – mainly in posts in English and Russian, but also in Polish. The conversation was about Elon Musk, when suddenly the invited guest started insulting the station and the host, calling them “war mongers”.
The distributed recording begins with the words of host Jake Tapper: “SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently confirmed reports that he blocked access to his network of Starlink satellites in Crimea last year. Should there be any repercussions for this?” The guest reportedly replied: “Not at all, Jake. Elon Musk saved the world from a larger scale war by rejecting Zelensky’s demands.” The host asks if “it really doesn’t bother you?” – to which the guest allegedly reacted using profanity: “Not at all, and I think you should be happy about it too, because you work for CNN. And CNN is a warmonger who benefits from the escalation of the conflict. So f*** off.” “Jake.”
This version of the conversation was quoted by Polish social media users who published the recording, including: on Facebook and X platforms. “Fat interview on CNN”; “This is the coolest interview we’ve seen on CNN,” they wrote. “This man told the truth”; “CNN’s Jake Tapper heard harsh and uncomfortable truth from India correspondent”; “This is epic! Persian YouTuber Damon Imani to Tapper ‘F**k you, Jake!’ And the transmission signal was lost very quickly,” commented English-language accounts.
Even the Russian subtitles on the recording should arouse the audience’s suspicion: the guest allegedly appearing there did not actually appear on CNN, and the video he created is intensively promoted by Russian disinformation.
Guest of the US Secretary of State
To find the original version of the interview and see who the station’s guest really was, just enter keywords such as “CNN”, “interview” or “Jake Tapper” into online search engines. Many of them, also on Facebook or
A fragment of it was often published on the X platform and then used to create a remake. It concerns the owner of the X platform, Elon Musk, who – according to CNN reports and the author of the billionaire’s new biography – in 2022 had a temporary turn off the Starlink networkto prevent Ukrainian drones from attacking Russian ships. Tapper’s conversation with Blinkenen on this topic went as follows (its transcript is also available at website Department of State):
Jake Tapper: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently confirmed reports in a new Musk biography by Walter Isaacson that he blocked access to his network of Starlink satellites in Crimea last year to disrupt a major Ukrainian attack on the Russian navy. In other words, Musk effectively sabotaged a military operation by Ukraine, a U.S. ally, against Russia, an aggressor that had attacked a U.S. ally. Should there be any repercussions for this?
Antony Blinken: Jake, I can’t talk about specific episodes. Here’s what I can say: Starlink was an essential tool for Ukrainians to communicate with each other. Especially for the military to communicate during their activities to defend the entire territory of Ukraine. It still is, and I expect it will continue to be central to their operations. So we hope and expect that this technology will remain fully available to Ukrainians.
Jake Tapper: I don’t know you can’t talk about it; you don’t want to talk about it. Musk said he was reportedly concerned that Russia would respond with nuclear weapons. Musk says he based this on private conversations with senior Russian officials. Are you concerned that Musk appears to be conducting his own diplomatic dealings with the Russian government? Does none of this really bother you?
Antony Blinken: Jake, I can’t speak to conversations that may or may not have occurred. I don’t know. I focus on the fact that the technology itself – Starlink – was really important to Ukrainians. It still is and should continue to be part of what they can use to be able to communicate with each other and – once again – for the military to be able to communicate.
The CNN interviewer actually asked about Elon Musk, but his questions were cut short in the distributed recording. And above all, he did not ask them to the correspondent in Delhi, but to the US Secretary of State. So who is the guy visible in the manipulated video and how did this video end up on the Polish-language network?
Iranian YouTuber and Russian accounts
The name of the man included in the video was provided by one of the authors of the posts, quoting what “Persian YouTuber Damon Imani” allegedly said to Jake Tapper. There is indeed a manipulated video on this YouTuber’s account posted September 10, the day of Tapper’s interview with Blinken. Damon Imani is its author, because in the full version at the end there are boards with the CNN logo and the name of his account on the X platform. “My thoughts on Elon Musk’s decision to deactivate the Starlink satellite network in the face of the conflict in Ukraine,” the YouTuber described the video.
However, the Iranian YouTuber’s video does not have Russian subtitles, which are visible in the version available on Polish-language accounts. They were added to the Russian-language Bye Biden account on Telegram, where Damon Imani’s video was shared on September 11. This profile, which regularly publishes anti-Western and pro-Russian disinformation, commented: “A guest of a CNN news program defended Elon Musk. The presenter accused the CEO of SpaceX of blocking the Starlink satellite network in Crimea. The interlocutor became furious and sent him three cheerful letters ( a reference to the slogan ‘idi na ch*j’ – ed.)”.
It was through this Russian profile that the recording attacking CNN was broadcast to the Polish network.
Main photo source: Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock