With Ukraine back in the news, I couldn’t help remembering this super cringey prank phone call by Russian comedians, Vladimir “Vovan” Kuznetsov and Alexei “Lexus” Stolyarov to California Congressman Adam Schiff, recorded back in April 2017.
Posing as Andriy Parubiy, the Neo-Nazi Chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, they called Schiff in his capacity as Co-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee during the early days of the Trump-Russia investigation.
They claimed to have “Pictures of naked Trump,” from the latter’s alleged fling with Russian model and singer Olga Buzova, during his visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013. They told Schiff that Putin had received this material through Busova’s friend, journalist Ksenia Sobchak, who they explained was Putin’s goddaughter.
Further, “Parubiy” added that the famous Russian folksinger, Arkadiy Ukupnik had acted as Putin’s intermediary in a meeting with Gen. Michael Flynn at the supposed Russian Mafia hotbed, the Langeron café in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where he promised that the naked photos would not be released if Trump would cancel the economic sanctions against Russia.
Schiff’s response to all of this was, “Obviously, we would welcome a chance to get copies of those recordings, so we will try to work with the FBI to figure out, along with your staff how we can obtain copies of those.”
The pranskters then offered to arrest and extradite Buzova and Sobchak to the US during their imminent tour of Ukraine, and “You can put them to your special jail, Guantanamo.”
Schiff politely thanked the callers saying, “Thank you very much, we will be back in touch with you through our staff to make arrangements to obtain these materials for our committee and for the FBI and I appreciate your reaching out to us.”
This wasn’t the first time that Vovan and Lexus had engaged high-level officials in such unseemly political sausage-making. They’d done it previously with John McCain, Maxine Waters, Nikki Haley and earlier this year, with Elliot Abrams.
They’ve also successfully punked French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Erdogan, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, EC president Jean-Claude Junker and Rock ‘n Roll legend Elton John, among many others.
I honestly don’t know how they manage to do it! Just listening to it is toenail-curling enough!