Rick Perry Duped Into 22-Minute Call With Russian Pranksters

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was duped by Russian pranksters in a phone call he believed was conducted with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. In the 22-minute phone call confirmed by an Energy Department spokesperson Tuesday, Perry discussed everything from the oil and gas industry to coal exports and Russian cyberhacking with a person he believed to be the Ukrainian PM, but who was actually a Russian comedian. At one point, the man claiming to be Hroisman announced that the Ukrainian president had personally developed a “new kind of fuel” made from alcohol and manure, the distribution of which Perry said he’d be willing to discuss at a later date. Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, two Russian comedians known for similar prank calls, took credit for the stunt. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said Perry was “the latest target of two Russian pranksters” who often target “those who are supportive of an agenda that is not in line with their government’s.”