Energy Secretary Rick Perry was the latest victim of Vladimir “Vovan” Kuznetsov and Alexei “Lexus” Stolyarov, two Russian hoaxers who play pranks on high-profile targets and post audio of the conversations online, the Washington Post reports.
“Secretary Perry is the latest target of two Russian pranksters,” DOE Spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes told the Washington Post. “These individuals are known for pranking high level officials and celebrities, particularly those who are supportive of an agenda that is not in line with their governments. In this case, the energy security of Ukraine.”
In the conversation, Perry—who was convinced he was speaking with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysma—discussed the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement, energy independence, and pig manure as biofuel.
“I hope that stepping away from the Paris accord will not have any negative impact with our relationship with the Ukraine,” Perry told the pranskters. “We tried to divorce the politics from this and really just let our record stand, one that I’m very proud of.”
Perry also told the pair that his department sees hydrofracking as a key to U.S. energy independence.
“What we have seen in Texas is the great increase of productivity, particularly in shale gas because of hydraulic fracturing and the directional drilling,” Perry said, according to the audio.
They pranksters even pitched Perry on a new biofuel they said was made of pig manure and alcohol. Perry told them he’d interested in this latest “scientific development.”
Listen to the audio below:
England pubs reopen on US Independence Day — after first nationwide closure since 1665’s Great Plague
The streets of Soho filled with merry drinkers in London on Saturday and the pubs of Manchester were packed as England's hospitality sector returned from a three-month coronavirus hiatus.
"It feels amazing," said Leo Richard Bill, a soldier, after getting through the door of one of London's buzziest restaurants on the Thames River's popular south bank.
"It’s been what, like three months since... me and everyone else haven’t been able to get outside and have a good time. So yeah, it feels good to get amongst it," he said.
Parts of London and other cities, deserted during lockdown, sprang to life as people dressed up and came out for "Super Saturday" -- the day England's hospitality sector reopened for the first time since March.
Trump’s angry words and Coronavirus surge darken Independence Day weekend in America
The United States marked an unusually somber Independence Day on Saturday, with President Donald Trump bashing domestic opponents and China -- but praising the country's coronavirus response, despite a record surge in cases.
Across the country, virus fears dampened or nixed Main Street parades, backyard barbecues and family reunions on a day when Americans typically celebrate their 1776 declaration of independence from Britain.
Instead of adopting a unifying tone, Trump -- facing a tough re-election and eager to mobilize his political base -- railed against protesters demanding racial justice after unarmed African American George Floyd was killed by a white police officer.
‘Spoiler’ Kanye West mocked for running for president against his pal Trump: ‘2020 never fails to disappoint’
President Donald Trump appears to have lost the support of one of his most well-known Black supporters as Kanye West announced on Saturday that he is running for president.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” West posted on Twitter, with the hashtag #2020VISION.
The musician was mocked for his presidential bid, here's some of what people were saying: