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: